PolyMet permit application provides pile of new documents, but few new answers

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA — Today, PolyMet submitted an application for a “permit to mine” to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In response, Mining Truth issued the following statement:

“As we are still reading over the thousands of pages of application and supporting documents, it’s impossible to provide a comprehensive view of what this application includes, but a few points are immediately clear.

  • For over a decade, PolyMet has been saying that they will provide a financial assurance package that will protect the Minnesota taxpayers from any possible liability. This permit application proposes only $12 million as an upfront damage deposit. Key data, including Appendix Chapter 15.5 “Estimating Methodology for NorthMet Closure in Mine Years Beyond Mine Year 1” is literally missing. The lack of detail from PolyMet is insulting to Minnesota taxpayers, who reasonably expect that PolyMet will show that it can pay for its own cleanup before it starts digging.    
  • PolyMet is proposing the largest permitted wetland destruction in state history, and makes no advance plans to mitigate or replace the damaged or drained wetlands.

Since the process has moved one step closer to completion with precious few new details, we are pleased that the Department of Natural Resources today suggested that they are considering including an evidence-based hearing in front of a judge before making a decision.  It is important that the people of Minnesota are comfortable with the outcome of this decision.  An evidence-based hearing may be our last, best chance to get answers to the remaining unanswered questions.” 

Mining Truth is a coalition of Conservation Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy formed in 2012 to provide a resource for Minnesotans to get the facts about sulfide mining and its long-lasting impacts.

MORE INFO: For more information, or to set up an interview with the leaders of Mining Truth, contact Aaron Klemz (aaron@friends-bwca.org, 763-788-0282) or Nate Dybvig (nate@conservationminnesota.org, 651-230-3018)