Comment period ended March 6
Our sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to tell the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources directly (or by signing our petition) that its draft permit does not protect future generations from water contamination or catastrophic dam failure.
We have many concerns about this mine and the risks that it would present not only while it operates, but for generations to come. Two of the most critical are:
- The permit to mine would allow PolyMet to dump its toxic mine waste behind an inherently risky dam. Not only will water leaking from the bottom of the dam need to be treated indefinitely (for hundreds of years, with no known end date), but the dam itself will need to be actively maintained for a thousand years or more in order to avoid a catastrophic breach like the one that happened in British Columbia three years ago.
- The permit also will allow PolyMet to pollute many square miles of groundwater — in blatant violation of state law. And the permit ignores promises made in the Environmental Impact Statement to contain and collect at least 90 percent of that groundwater from the most polluted areas.
- MDNR PolyMet portal
- “Talking points” page (link to PDF)
- Protecting the BWCAW from sulfide mining
In the news
- Star Tribune op-ed by Sen. John Marty: “The PolyMet proposal: Where compromise can be found in an otherwise catastrophic plan” (3.12.18)
- Duluth News Tribune op-ed co-authored by Friends board member John Gappa: “Listen to state’s hired sharks on PolyMet draft permit” (2.6.18)
- Minnesota Public Radio: “PolyMet is nearly clear to build controversial Iron Range mine” (1.5.18)
- Minnesota Public Radio: “Four things to know about the PolyMet mine” (1.5.18)
Media coverage of DNR hearings
In addition to the video/blog of the February 8 Duluth hearing in its entirety at The Uptake, check out media coverage of that event plus the February 7 hearing in Aurora:
- Duluth News Tribune
- KBJR6 (NBC): Aurora (see Friends Executive Director Chris Knopf speak at 1:46) and Duluth
- WDIO (ABC): Duluth (listen to Duluth City Councilor Gary Anderson at 0:28 and the Friends Northern Communities Director Tonia Kittelson at 0:53)
- FOX21: Duluth
- MPR: Aurora and Duluth
Related news from around the world
- Canada: Mt. Polley disaster drives home need for protection
- Brazil: “Samarco dam collapse: one year on from Brazil’s worst environmental disaster”
- Romania: “Romanian Unesco site proposal may be halted to allow gold mining”