Supreme Court declines to hear County Road 595 case
The legal fight for County Road 595 is at this time, over. The Supreme Court on March 4, 2019 denied the Marquette County Road Commission's request for a review on the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to veto the road proposal.
The Marquette County Road Commission proposed the construction of county road 595 in 2012. The purpose of the 21-mile road would be to provide a more direct route between Eagle Mine and Humboldt Mill. The EPA vetoed the proposal based on worries that construction of the road through wetlands could have a negative environmental impact.
"The challenge in court was that this was an arbitrary decision that was not based in any of the evidence,” said Mark Miller, senior attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, who represented the commission. “The evidence said that the road would be better for the environment and better for the people."
Those on the commission's side, including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, believe that not building the road would be worse for the environment.
"County Road 595 would have reduced fuel consumption by about half a million gallons a year because it would have taken that 120-mile round trip and cut that in two-thirds," said Miller.
The ongoing legal battle between the Road Commission and the EPA came to a head last Tuesday when the Supreme Court decided they would not hear the case.
"Usually you expect and we get good decisions from the government, but when the government makes an egregious mistake like they made here, we should be able to challenge that in court," said Miller.
Not everyone was upset with the Supreme Court's inaction.
"It's a little victory, because we have a very large watershed and it all needs protecting,” said Roy Sarosik, board member of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. “So those types of things help make people realize that we breathe the same air, we all drink the same water."
There is no further legal action the Road Commission can take at this point, and so far they haven't announced what they plan to do next.
TV6 & FOX UP will continue to keep you updated on this story as it develops.