Thousands of citizens ask DNR to protect water, reject PolyMet draft permit

Senator John Marty speaks at a podium in the capitol press conference room during the petition delivery rally March 6.
Sen. John Marty speaks a the petition delivery rally at the capitol March 6 while Rep. David Bly and MCEA’s Aaron Klemz (in striped tie) look on.

This afternoon conservation, good government and clean-water groups held a press event at the Minnesota State Capitol to mark the final day of public input on the PolyMet draft permit to mine. Speakers at the event included Aaron Klemz from MCEA, Rep. David Bly, Sen. John Marty, Friends board member John Gappa, and JT Heinz from Duluth for Clean Water. They shared their concerns that the draft permit to mine does not protect Minnesota’s water, Minnesota taxpayers and the people who live downstream from PolyMet’s proposed sulfide mine.  

Immediately following the press event, a coalition of nonprofit groups — including Duluth for Clean Water, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest, Izaak Walton League, League of Women Voters, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Civic Action, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, and WaterLegacy — delivered some 10,000 petition signatures plus comments to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources headquarters in Saint Paul. The petitions urge the DNR to reject PolyMet’s application to mine in Minnesota.