Opponents seek review of state plan to auction mineral leases

Opponents of a state plan to auction off the mineral rights in three areas of northeastern Minnesota hope to force an environmental review. They'll file a petition Tuesday asking the DNR to study the effects of mineral prospecting in the areas. They say it could affect water quality and property values near the sites in St. Louis, Lake, and Aitkin Counties.
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Opponents of a state plan to auction off the mineral rights in three areas of northeastern Minnesota hope to force an environmental review. They'll file a petition Tuesday asking the DNR to study the effects of mineral prospecting in the areas. They say it could affect water quality and property values near the sites in St. Louis, Lake, and Aitkin Counties.

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Environmental advocates in northeastern Minnesota plan to file a petition with the DNR on Tuesday, taking issue with the state's plans to auction off more metallic minerals exploration leases, the Associated Press reports. Critics fear new prospecting and mining could dramatically endanger the environment, including drinking water, trout streams and recreation trails. About 140 have signed it, but it wasn't immediately clear what effect the petition might have on the leasing process.

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