I am pleased with the results of an Environmental Impact Statement, which I believe should now green-light PolyMet's proposed NorthMet mine project in northeastern Minnesota.
This is another major accomplishment in the process of satisfying regulatory requirements during the permitting process for mining. Due diligence has been conducted and I'm confident the EIS data – collected by the Minnesota DNR, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – will show we can proceed in a safe, sensible, environmentally responsible manner.
Now it is time to move forward without further delay. Those of us who live in northern Minnesota know how much these new mining jobs with good pay would mean to our local families and our economy.
In other news:
Congratulations to all those involved in successfully bringing next year's Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Tournament to Mille Lacs Lake. We are all well aware of the walleye issues at Mille Lacs, but this major tournament will help highlight the wide variety of fish to be caught in the lake in addition to our famed walleye. The tournament will have a positive impact on our local economy and continue to highlight the great many recreational opportunities our "big lake" has to offer. Congratulations again and I look forward to the tournament becoming a strong success.
Last Friday I was pleased to support the award of an IRRRB infrastructure grant of $250,000 to the City of Aitkin grant for a lift station and sewer line infrastructure that will support new housing development in Aitkin.
The IRRRB Board also voted to make available an $18 million loan to assist in developing a $52.8 million commercial scale biotechnology manufacturing facility project at Mountain Iron. The Sweetwater Energy project would allow for extraction of biochemicals from timber that could be used in a vast number of products.
This past Monday evening I spoke at a meeting of Crosby businesses involved in planning for future road work that will involve reworking state Highway 210, which also serves as Main Street for both Crosby and Ironton.
Wednesday Rep. Josh Heintzeman, Rep. Mark Anderson and myself met with the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Government Affairs Committee. We discussed regulatory and tax issues that continue to hinder business development in our area.
On Thursday I attended the Cuyuna City Council meeting. The city is working on a major upgrade to their city sewer system.
Please be safe and good luck as we enjoy another deer hunting season!