DNR won't budge on comment period for proposed PolyMet mine


The commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told Minnesota Public Radio listeners Tuesday that the comment period for a controversial copper-nickel mine proposal in northern Minnesota won't be extended.

As MPR reports, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said the comment period is already twice what the federal government requires. The period, as it stands, is 90 days and began earlier this month and lasts until March, according to the Associated Press.

Known as the Northmet mine, PolyMet wants to mine copper, nickel and precious metals over a 20-year period at a site north of Hoyt Lakes.

As the Winona Daily News notes, environmental groups want the state to extend the time for comments an additional 90 days because of the size of the project's environmental impact statement. The document is 2,200 pages long.

"But we considered some of these things that people are talking about," Landwehr said, appearing on an MPR program. "It's a lengthy document, very complicated. People are going to need a lot of time to look at it. We want public involvement, so we went to 90 days. We doubled the amount of time."

He added that public opposition alone isn't likely to derail the project. He said the mine is likely to get permission to move ahead if it meets financial and environmental standards set forth by the state.

The company is required to put up enough money to cover cleanup of the site, which is estimated at $200 million.

The DNR is holding three public hearings on the project in January in Aurora, Duluth and St. Paul.

Next Up

butcher and the boar

Butcher & the Boar makes comeback with new ownership

Local hospitality company Jester Concepts has bought the brand. The new location is still being determined.


Staff at Mankato Hy-Vee incorrectly diluted COVID vaccines for 62 patients

The retailer says that there is no reason for medical concern.

rowdi lab missing

Twin Cities man going to great lengths to find beloved dog, missing in northern MN

He's hoping drone operators can help him locate Rowdi, his yellow lab.

Hennepin County Government Center

Some Hennepin County Government Center services will be unavailable during Chauvin's trial

Access to the building will be limited during the trail, which begins March 8.

Street sweeper

Driver, 19, killed in collision with street sweeper

It happened Thursday evening near Thief River Falls.

famous dave's

Famous Dave's to launch its first 'line service' restaurant in the Twin Cities

The new model of restaurant will open in September in Coon Rapids.

State Capitol.

Minnesota's budget outlook improves, now projecting $1.6B surplus

The state was projecting a $1.3 billion deficit in November.

warroad ice road

2.5 mile skating path through Warroad was a hit, now there's an effort to keep it

The "Riverbender Crew" is hoping to buy new equipment to maintain the path this season, and for years to come.

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 10.10.55 AM

Officers identified in fatal shooting of suspect in Isanti County

Three officers were identified in the police chase that ended with one suspect being shot and a police dog being injured.

House for sale

Zillow to start making offers on Twin Cities homes based off its 'Zestimates'

The Twin Cities property market is seriously hot right now.