EPA to hold meetings on proposed County Road 595; Casperson urges public to attend

For Immediate Release
Aug. 24, 2012

Contact: Marty Fittante
517-373-7840

EPA to hold meetings on proposed County Road 595; Casperson urges public to attend

LANSING, Mich.— On Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the request of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold an informational public meeting on the proposed County Road 595.

The Marquette County Road Commission has proposed a new 21.4 mile primary county road, running north-south between U.S. Highway 41 and County Road Triple A, through Champion, Ely, Humboldt, and Michigamme townships.

The meeting and subsequent hearing will take place at the Don H. Bottum University Center at Northern Michigan University.  An informational session will begin at 6 p.m. and public comment will begin at 7.

State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, is urging the public to come out to the hearing and lend its voice to the large, silent majority that overwhelmingly approve the construction of County Road 595.  

“Marquette County is in dire need of County Road 595. Proponents of the project have been patient for many years, and the time for this road has finally come,” said Casperson. “Public safety in the form of decreased response times by emergency vehicles, additional outdoor recreation opportunities for our residents and, also importantly, jobs is what is at stake for area residents.”

The EPA has reviewed the proposed project and has raised questions as to whether there are practical, alternate routes that would have less impact on aquatic resources.

The EPA’s concerns center around whether the road commission’s proposals that the mitigation of damage to wetlands and streams would not fully compensate for the loss of aquatic functions. The DEQ has the authority to issue wetlands fill permits under the Clean Water Act. The EPA retains oversight authority to object to proposed projects that do not comply with federal guidelines.

“I believe the Marquette County Road Commission has done their research into the possible environmental impact of this road and should be able to complete it with minimal negative affect to area wildlife and natural resources,” Casperson said.

The meetings come after a December, 2011 letter at Casperson’s request, signed by 28 of Michigan’s 38 state senators, in support of the EPA giving the necessary permits to construct the road.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5368&District=38

Public forums on transportation issues to be held in Upper Peninsula

For Immediate Release
Aug. 20, 2012

Contact: Marty Fittante
517-373-7840

Public forums on transportation issues to be held in Upper Peninsula

LANSING, Mich. — There will be two community forums regarding transportation issues will take place in the Upper Peninsula this month.

Sponsored by the Transportation for Michigan (Trans4M) coalition, the forums are designed to generate input to Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Legislature and policymakers as they create a shared transportation vision for the state.

The forums will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 2- 4 p.m. in Escanaba at the Michigan Technical Education Center (MTEC) at Bay College and 6- 8 p.m. at the Michigan Works! Service Center in Marquette. The general public is encouraged to join.

“Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature want our input on the kind of transportation policies we would like to see in our great state,” said Sen. Tom Casperon, R-Escanaba. “This is a great opportunity for our residents to voice their opinions on important state policy matters.”

The forums are sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance, Upward Initiative Growing Business & Industry, Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, the MTEC at Bay College, Michigan Works!, Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

“People are excited about the prospects for improving Michigan’s roads, public transportation options and bike-and pedestrian-friendly towns,” said Kathryn Gray, coordinator of the Trans4M coalition. “They’re sharing that with us during these forums, and we will be sharing it with lawmakers and policy experts as we move toward a reliable, efficient and interconnected transportation system for our state.”

Transportation for Michigan (www.trans4m.org) is a statewide coalition working to create a stronger Michigan through transportation policy reform that will revitalize Michigan’s cities and towns, reconnect its people to opportunity, and spark a healthier economy. Trans4M coalition partners include nonprofits, businesses, policymakers, environmental groups, planners, academic institutions and others.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5364&District=38