ST. PAUL – PolyMet Mining, Inc. on Monday submitted to the Minnesota DNR and MPCA the first in a series of more than 20 local, state and national permits necessary for the proposed NorthMet project. The project recently successfully completed in depth Environmental Impact Statement process and now moves into the actual permit phase before actual mining operations can begin.
The DNR received applications for a Dam Safety and Water Appropriation permit and MPCA received an application for a NPDES/SDS permit – National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System.
“This is an important step forward in ensuring we can conduct mining operations, while still protecting our environment,” said Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin. “Minnesota’s permitting process is detailed and demanding. The end result must ensure protection of the environment, while at the same time supporting both economic growth and national security interests in the production of strategic metals.”
The information contained in the permit applications will help the DNR and MPCA determine which state and federal requirements apply. The agencies first determine if the applications contain all of the necessary information to start processing the application.
Once an application is determined to be complete, then the lead agency will develop specific requirements for a draft permit. Once development of a draft permit has been completed, public input is solicited during a formal public notice and comment period when a draft permit becomes available for public review and comment.
After the public input phase and evaluation of that input is complete and any adjustments deemed necessary are made to the permit, the lead agencies will ultimately make a final decision on whether to issue the permit or deny that specific permit application.
The MPCA has also received PolyMet’s Water Quality permit application. To view that application, go to www.mn.gov/polymet and click on the MPCA button.
Lueck represents House District 10B, which includes all of the Cuyuna Iron Range and includes important copper, nickel, peat and other important mineral deposits in both Aitkin and Crow Wing counties.