On January 4, a judge issued a decision denying the issuance of a wetlands permit for Aquila Resources Inc.’s Back Forty Project in Michigan. An administrative law judge for the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules determined that Aquila’s groundwater model for the gold and zinc project did not provide a reliable identification of wetland impacts and found the permit application to be administratively incomplete. The judge also determined that Aquila did not provide a complete assessment of potential alternatives to its proposed plan.
“Obviously, we are disappointed by the judge’s decision,” Aquila President and CEO Barry Hildred said. “The company is evaluating its alternatives, which include the submission of an updated permit application or appealing the decision to the EGLE environmental review panel.”
He added that the project will only directly impact 11.2 acres of regulated wetlands and he believes Aquila will be able to resolve the cited issues.