August 29, 2016

Tuesday: PLF will join press conference on EPA’s arbitrary roadblock in Michigan

By Mark Miller Senior Attorney

On Tuesday, August 30, I will join officials with the Marquette County Road Commission in the upper peninsula of Michigan for a press conference to discuss how the U.S. EPA is unjustifiably blocking construction of an important local road project. I’m looking forward to joining this local government in its effort to fight back against Washington, D.C. overreach.

Time: 4 p.m. Eastern
Location: The Road Commission’s office, 1610 N 2nd St, Ishpeming, MI 49849

County Road 595 is a proposed 21-mile route that would allow trucks to bypass busy city streets in Marquette County. As planned and approved by state officials, it would reduce air pollution, increase safety, and save over 450,000 gallons of fuel yearly.

Yet EPA regulators have butted in and imposed a roadblock, with a controversial claim that CR 595 would adversely impacts wetlands. With typical inflexibility, federal wetlands regulators have balked at working out a creative, win-win agreement: When local officials offered to protect 26.6 acres of wetlands for every one acre of wetlands filled by the planned road, the EPA demanded more. No matter what the local government agency offered, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers refused to budge.

The feds are also fighting the county’s effort to have the issue reviewed by the judiciary. They’re doing this even in the face of PLF’s recent Hawkes victory at the Supreme Court, which guaranteed owners’ right to seek a second opinion from the courts when the feds declare property to be “wetlands.”

The case is currently before a federal district court; if and when it goes on appeal, PLF will represent the county against the federal bureaucrats.

As I will remind listeners at Tuesday’s press conference, EPA’s inflexible position is putting public safety and sensible local planning at risk – and the federal regulators cannot be allowed to escape judicial review of their overreaching actions.

learn more about

Marquette County Road Commission v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Marquette County Road Commission in Michigan’s upper peninsula, wants to build a road through some undeveloped land to create a short-cut for heavy-duty trucks transporting ore from a local mine to its processing facility. The state environmental quality agency agreed, but the federal EPA vetoed the county’s permit application for vaguely stated “environmental reasons” even though the county planned to protect 26 acres of wetlands for every one acre of wetland filled by the project.

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