Better in Our Back Yard (BIOBY) commends the Minnesota State Supreme Court for rightfully declining to hear a petition for additional review of PolyMet’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). PolyMet spent over a decade in careful preparation of the EIS, which was published in 2015 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
With this decision, PolyMet can continue project progress – focusing their efforts on maintaining ongoing permit compliance, implementing environmental controls, securing financing, beginning construction and ultimately opening the state’s first copper-nickel-precious metals mine.
Today, the Minnesota Court of Appeals announced its unanimous ruling in favor of Minnesota’s nonferrous mining rules. This decision ensures PolyMet’s NorthMet project can continue to take the necessary steps toward the safe operation of our state’s first copper, nickel and precious mine.
Earlier this year, PolyMet became the first company to obtain all Federal and State permits to develop and operate a copper-nickel-precious metals mine in northeast Minnesota. When State of Minnesota permits were issued in late 2018, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness filed a case against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, challenging the administrative rules that guided decisions regarding permits for the NorthMet project.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals rightfully concluded that the rules were valid, as were the standards under which PolyMet received its permits. Every step of the way, PolyMet has demonstrated it can meet or exceed our state’s strict environmental standards. We can mine precious metals here – better – in our backyard.