Conservation groups object to PolyMet environmental study, encourage public to speak out

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Saint Paul, Minn (Nov. 13, 2015) –– Conservation groups objected to the PolyMet “final environmental impact statement” and encouraged the public to join them in objecting to the proposed sulfide mine during the 30 day public review period beginning today. Representatives of Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a coalition of over 70 Minnesota conservation groups and several member groups spoke out against the PolyMet sulfide mine proposal at the press conference.

Speakers at the event described the PolyMet proposal as a long-term threat to Minnesota’s clean water. Steve Morse, Executive Director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, stated that the PolyMet environmental review “fails to level with Minnesotans about the tremendous risk that PolyMet’s proposal poses to Minnesota’s clean water legacy.”

Aaron Klemz, of Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, added, “Minnesotans will not accept polluting the Boundary Waters, Minnesotans will not accept 500 years of polluting the St. Louis River, the largest tributary to Lake Superior.”

Predictions in the “final environmental impact statement” that the PolyMet proposal would meet Minnesota water quality standards are flawed, based on bad data and incorrect assumptions. The computer models that were used to create the “final environmental impact statement” are inaccurate and understate the impact of the PolyMet proposal on water.

Paula Maccabee, of WaterLegacy, pointed out one critical assumption, that PolyMet can capture billions of gallons of polluted water before it left the site. “There is no real world experience approaching 99.5% seepage collection. Minnesota’s Minntac’s tailings pump back system gets about a 50% collection rate.” If polluted water is not captured and treated, it would flow downstream and threaten the environment and public health.

All of the speakers agreed that independent, third party review of the faulty science that underlies the “final environmental impact statement” was needed.

The PolyMet “final environmental impact statement” was officially published in the today, and a thirty day public review period ends at 4:30 PM on December 14th. Members of the public can file their objection through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website at

Watch the full event here:

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Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a statewide coalition of more than 70 environmental and conservation organizations working together for clean water, clean energy and protection of our Great Outdoors. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership engages state leaders, unites environmental efforts and helps citizens take action for the Minnesota they love.

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