Better In Our Back Yard (BIOBY) supports PolyMet’s decision to file a petition for review to the Minnesota Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Court of Appeals decision announced earlier this week. The decision remanded the company’s Permit to Mine and dam safety permit to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for an unnecessary and time-consuming contested case hearing.
Monday’s decision also proposed a new rule that would have serious implications for our state’s permitting process and subsequent economic development. The new rule provides if there is any conflicting evidence on a material issue of fact—even if the agency previously considered the evidence —the agency is required to hold a contested case hearing. Instead of trusting the process, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ensured that the permitting process will become more cumbersome and challenging for all future projects.
BIOBY trusts the 15 years of scientific work and analysis by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). As reported recently, a statement from the DNR, “Notably, the Court’s opinion does not draw conclusions about the validity of the scientific analyses underlying the DNR’s decisions. We remain confident in the solid foundation of our technical work.” Throughout the process, PolyMet has proven its commitment to responsible mining. Moving forward with the NorthMet Project is the right decision for Minnesota.
BIOBY will continue to maintain our support of industrial development in Minnesota and PolyMet’s continual advancement to operation and production.