Q: Where can I read the Road Commission's legal filing?
A: Right here!
The Basics on County Road 595
Q: What is County Road 595?
A: County Road 595 is the name given to a proposed 21-mile road that would connect County Road AAA in Michigamme Township with U.S. 41 in Humboldt Township, taking nearly 100 commercial vehicles per day away from schools and communities, while shortening each of their routes by 78 miles round trip, every day.
Q: Why is County Road 595 important for the Upper Peninsula?
A: County Road 595 would make Marquette County streets safer, protect the environment, and strengthen the local economy.
- Safer Streets: County Road 595 would eliminate more than 1.5 million miles of semi-truck traffic from our communities and school zones every year, by diverting trucks onto a safer, shorter route.
- Cleaner Air and Wetlands Protection: According to environmental studies, County Road 595 would reduce air pollution from CR 550 by more than 56 percent, eliminating nearly 5,000 tons of air pollution and greenhouse gases annually, and saving over 464,000 gallons of fuel.
One previous proposal by the Marquette County Road Commission to the EPA also offered to preserve 647 wetland acres near the McCormick Wilderness. That would have meant 26 preserved acres of wetlands for every one acre affected by construction of the road— far more than the EPA’s standard preservation guidelines, an offer that illustrated how seriously Marquette County takes protecting the environment.
- Strengthening the Economy: Building County Road 595 would create 200 high paying construction jobs in the Upper Peninsula, while strengthening local employers and expanding opportunities for tourism.
The Basics on Legal Appeal
Q: Why is the Marquette County Road Commission appealing the decision by the EPA?
A: Despite the numerous, wide ranging benefits County Road 595 would bring the Upper Peninsula and overwhelming support from local officials, the EPA in Washington, DC denied the commission the necessary permits to construct it.
The Commission demonstrated that County Road 595 would lead to cleaner air, wetland protection, safer streets and communities, and a stronger economy in the Upper Peninsula, and believes the permits should—and will—be granted.
Q: Is Stand U.P. Suing the EPA?
A: No, the Marquette County Road Commission is bringing the legal action. Stand U.P. is a non-profit organization created to help support and fund the road commission's effort.
Q: WHY CAN'T THE STATE OF MICHIGAN SIMPLY ISSUE A PERMIT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF COUNTY ROAD 595?
A: Because the State of Michigan manages its own wetland management program, in many cases the State can issue permits. However, if a proposed project has the potential to impact more than an acre of wetlands, the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, has the power to bypass state authority. By blocking the project, that is exactly what the EPA is doing in this case.
Q: Will taxpayers be forced to pick up the tab for the Road Commission’s appeal?
A: No. The Marquette County Road Commission voted on January 19, 2015 to pursue legal action in support of County Road 595, on the condition that private funds will cover all expenses.
Pursuing an appeal will not cost taxpayers one dime.
Q: Is County Road 595 a partisan political issue?
A: Absolutely not. The decision to appeal the EPA’s refusal to remove its objections is supported by a diverse group of individuals, interests, and organizations, including State Representatives Scott Dianda, Ed McBroom, and John Kivela, State Senator Tom Casperson, Congressman Dan Benishek and Governor Snyder and his administration.
The construction of County Road 595 was also publicly supported by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin (retired), as well as the Marquette County Road Commission, Marquette County Commission and the Township Boards of every township potentially affected by construction.
Q: What happens if the Commission loses the appeal?
A: If the Marquette County Road Commission loses its appeal of the EPA’s ruling, the status quo will continue. County Road 595 will not be built and heavy traffic will continue traveling longer routes through our communities and across the campus of Northern Michigan University.
Q: What happens if they win the appeal?
A: If the Marquette County Road Commission wins its appeal, the Commission will be empowered to begin the process of constructing County Road 595, making our communities safer, our air cleaner, and our economy stronger.
Q: WHAT IS THE PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION?
A: The Pacific Legal Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest public interest legal organization. The Foundation has joined the Road Commission and Stand UP as co-counsel in its appeal of the EPA’s decision.
The Foundation will handle the appeal in court all the way to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary, and is working pro-bono to uphold Marquette County’s rights, keeping the promise made to local residents that legal action will not cost taxpayers a dime.
For more information about the Pacific Legal Foundation, please visit www.pacificlegal.org.
The Basics on Stand U.P.
Q: What is Stand U.P.?
A: Stand U.P. is a local, nonpartisan coalition of residents from across the U.P. who understand that residents are frustrated with government officials in Washington, DC who continue telling the U.P. how to live, from building our roads or protecting our environment.
That’s why we are standing up to Washington to support the Marquette County Road Commission’s efforts to make Marquette County’s streets safer, our air cleaner, and our economy stronger.
Q: Who are the members of Stand U.P.?
A: Stand U.P. is a new coalition looking to attract supporters from across the Upper Peninsula. The coalition’s Board of Directors is:
- Deborah Pellow—Director of the Ishpeming Area Joint Wastewater Facility and former County Commissioner
- Tony Retaskie—Executive Director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council
- Stu Bradley— Retired US Air Force Colonel, retired Financial Advisor, and past Mayor of the City of Marquette
Q: Who is funding Stand U.P.?
A: Stand U.P. is a volunteer, non-profit coalition formed to support safer streets, a cleaner environment, and a stronger economy in the Upper Peninsula. The coalition was formed in late January, and fundraising is now underway.
As a non-profit, contributions to Stand U.P. can be made publicly or anonymously and, under law, we will honor the disclosure requests of those willing to contribute to this cause.
Q: Can I join Stand U.P. to support safer streets, a cleaner environment and a stronger economy?
A: Absolutely. Click below to join the coalition or make a donation to help support the Marquette County Road Commission’s legal battle with EPA in Washington, DC.