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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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The latest on mining project

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

We are inching closer to starting the actual permitting process for PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet copper-nickel mining project.

Earlier this week Governor Dayton accepted a recommendation from his key state regulatory officials that a new, separate, health-related study was not needed prior to moving forward with the final stages of environmental review process.

Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, who heads the Minnesota Department Health, Commissioner Tom Landwehr, from the Department of Natural Resources and Commissioner John Linc Stine, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, agreed the human health impacts of the PolyMet’s NorthMet project are well covered in the 3,5000-page Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that has been almost 10 years in the making.

I am pleased Governor Dayton as decided to accept the conclusion of his three key agency heads that the FEIS has thoroughly investigated this subject and another new study is not necessary.

Requiring additional last-minute studies has to be seen for what it is: another attempt to simply delay the project, cause confusion, and spread doubt about the validity of Minnesota’s environmental review process.

The public comment period on the final environmental impact statement is scheduled to close at 4:30 p.m. on this Dec. 21. Please don’t hesitate to submit your comments on this important matter at this link.

Minnesota’s environmental review process is one of most stringent in the United States and, for that matter, in the world. It’s time to make a decision, no more excuses or delaying tactics.

We have a highly skilled work force ready to demonstrate that we can safely mine copper-nickel here in Minnesota. Many of those workers are currently unemployed due to the idling of our taconite plants.

Moving forward on the NorthMet project removes a major obstacle to developing additional mines and creation of new high paying jobs with the Twin Metals project near Ely and copper-nickel mining operations in northern Aitkin County.

Sincerely,

Dale

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