Aquila Resources Provides Corporate Update
Aquila Resources Inc. (TSX: AQA, OTCQB: AQARF) (“Aquila” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on its strategy to advance its Back Forty Project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula following the January 4, 2021 decision by an Administrative Law Judge (“Judge”) denying the prior issuance of a wetland/stream/floodplain permit (“Wetlands Permit”). The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (“EGLE”) issued the Wetlands Permit to the Company in June 2018 following years of environmental baseline work and a thorough review process including comment periods and public hearings and review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Aquila believes that the Judge’s decision was based largely on a strict interpretation of the administrative completeness of the permit application rather than a specific view on the Project itself. As Aquila has been proactive in addressing the initial permit conditions since the issuance of the Wetlands Permit, the Company believes the Judge’s decision only represents a temporary setback for the Project.
Barry Hildred, President & CEO of Aquila, commented, “While we were disappointed by the Judge’s decision, we have a high level of confidence that there is a clear path to successfully permitting the Back Forty Project, regardless of the outcome of our appeal. Our relationship with EGLE is strong and we have made good progress addressing the conditions in the original Wetlands Permit. Given the current uncertain economic climate, we believe that projects like Back Forty are even more critical to providing the jobs and community support that Michigan needs, while at the same time protecting the environment.”
Appeal to EGLE Environmental Review Panel
Aquila has appealed the Judge’s decision to the EGLE environmental review panel (“Panel”). EGLE will convene a three-person panel of experts with relevant experience within 45 days. The Panel will then hear arguments and is expected to render a decision later in 2021. The Panel has the authority to adopt, remand, modify, or reverse, in whole or in part, the Judge’s decision. The decision of the Panel will become the final decision of EGLE.
Through its appeal, at a minimum, Aquila is seeking to clarify certain aspects of the decision to facilitate further permitting efforts for the Back Forty Project. The Judge found Aquila’s Wetlands Permit application to be administratively incomplete due to alleged lack of an agreed upon groundwater model and lack of reliable identification of potential indirect wetland impacts related to groundwater drawdown caused by pit dewatering. The Judge’s determination that the Project is not in the public interest and that Aquila's alternatives analysis was inadequate was largely based on the same alleged lack of information about indirect wetland impacts. As such, even though Aquila has been working with EGLE to satisfy permit conditions requiring further data collection and groundwater modeling to validate previous conclusions regarding indirect impacts, the Judge found that the statute required Aquila to provide all of the information before a permit could be issued.
Aquila Resources Aktie jetzt über den Testsieger (Finanztest 11/2020) handeln, ab 0 € auf Smartbroker.de
|Diskussion: Back Forty Projekt - eine Zink-Gold-Story (ehemals JML Resources)|