GREEN BAY — The federal government has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Menominee Indian Tribe regarding the proposed Back Forty Mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, according to WLUK-TV Green Bay.

Aquila Resources wants to operate a gold, zinc, and copper mine in Menominee County. The state has issued three of the permits for the project, with the fourth currently under review.

The tribe filed suit in January, seeking to force the federal government to step into the process.

But in the 24-page response filed Friday, the federal government noted that on March 8, the EPA filed an objection to Aquila’s project as proposed — therefore making the lawsuit a moot point. The federal government also says the tribe’s lawsuit was filed too soon.

“There has been no final decision as to whether the Mine should be issued a permit, and additional administrative review is necessary before this question will be answered. Requiring the Tribe to wait until the conclusion of these proceedings before securing judicial review does not result in any harm to the Tribe, because the burdens of the administrative process on the Tribe are not a cognizable hardship. Moreover, further proceedings may entirely moot the need for litigation,” the Department of Justice argued.

No court dates have been scheduled.

Source: EagleHerald