Saint Paul, Minn., March 3, 2016 — Earlier today, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released its Determination of Adequacy on the PolyMet sulfide mining project in northern Minnesota. In November PolyMet submitted its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), followed by a 30 public comment period. While the results of that public comment period have not yet been tallied, during the previous round of public comment, the DNR received 58,000 comments, of which an overwhelming 90% objected to the PolyMet project because of its high current and future risk to Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. Today’s release of the DNR’s Determination of Adequacy states that the DNR has determined the project can move forward to the permitting stage.
Below is a statement from Minnesota Environmental Partnership executive director Steve Morse on the DNR’s determination today.
“We are extremely disappointed in the DNR’s determination that the PolyMet project is ready to move to the next stage.”said Morse. “The project PolyMet proposal doesn’t protect our lakes, rivers, and streams. Minnesotans don’t accept polluting our Boundary Waters, Lake Superior, and other treasured waters. Minnesotans don’t believe that the international mining companies that own PolyMet will effectively keep their mining pollution from leaking into the St. Louis River, the largest tributary to Lake Superior, for the next 500-plus years that will be required.
“No operation of this type has operated and closed without polluting nearby lakes, rivers, and streams. Furthermore, predictions in the final environmental impact statement are flawed, and based on bad data and incorrect assumptions, without real-world experience. Those inaccuracies are putting all Minnesotans at risk and threaten the environment and public health. This is a bargain-basement mining plan that relies on outdated technology and a flawed tailings basin..
“Sulfide mining in a water-rich environment like Minnesota is not worth the high-risk gamble.”
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.