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      Reaction to County Road 595 decision

      The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has said they will not issue a permit for Marquette County Road 595.

      The road would have run from Rio Tinto's Eagle Mine project in northern Marquette County to the Humboldt Mill. County Road 595 would have given trucks a more direct route between the mine and the mill.

      The county road commission is now hoping that improvements can be made to County Road 550 to accommodate the coming increase in truck traffic.

      "It seems like the EPA is more concerned about the wetlands with 25 acres, which isn't very much, and they're more concerned about safety of the animals than the people in the Upper Peninsula. The sheriffs department, the state police, everybody was in favor of this project because of the safety," said Joseph Valente of the Marquette County Road Commission.

      Congressman Dan Benishek also commented on the DEQ's decision.

      He says "I am deeply disappointed to learn the MDEQ will not be granting a permit for this job-creating project in the Upper Peninsula. The EPA's costly regulations have proved too high a hurdle for this project and it will cost northern Michiganders many good paying jobs," said Benishek.

      The congressman is scheduled to meet with the county road commission next Tuesday in Ishpeming. The EPA has said that the application for the road does not meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act. Now the Army Corps of Engineers has permitting authority in the matter.

      The City of Marquette has said they have no comment at this time.