People have sent in thousands of comments about the PolyMet mine project

Author:
Updated:
Original:

About 30,000 comments have been sent to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about the most recent review for the divisive PolyMet mine proposal.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a news release the agency has "made every effort to facilitate public review" of the Environmental Impact Statement since it was opened for comments a month ago.

In that time, tens of thousands of them have come in – and the DNR says it's actually extending the deadline so people can send more.

The initial final day for the public comment period was Dec. 14. It'll now be Dec. 21 – extra time the DNR hopes "will help other interested parties comment on the adequacy of the document."

PolyMet’s proposal calls for the creation of Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine, called NorthMet, which would include an open-pit mine near Babbitt and a processing plant near Hoyt Lakes.

It's been a divisive topic within the state – environmentalists say the risks aren't worth it, while others argue it could be done safely and would bring much-needed jobs to a struggling region.

Click here for directions on how to send comments in electronically or by mail.

What's an Environmental Impact Statement?

An Environmental Impact Statement is part of a standard process required before some big projects or developments.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says environmental impact statements are designed to talk about “the potential negative environmental effects … and ways to avoid or minimize them” before the project gets approved or built.

The PolyMet proposals Impact Statement was released in November – and it's a whopping 3,500 pages long.

In addition to the public comment period, two other federal agencies have their own reviews to complete – including the U.S. Forest Service, the DNR says.

Then in February, the DNR will decide whether the impact statement was an adequate review of the environmental implications.

As the Duluth News Tribune says, if it’s deemed adequate, it then goes through to the permitting stage, at which point it is likely to be a target for litigation. It also must show financial assurance that it can clean up any problems caused by the mine.

Next Up

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

Related