Judge Stays 4 Lawsuits That Seek to Block PolyMet Land Swap

This Feb. 10, 2016, file photo shows a former iron ore processing plant near Hoyt Lakes, Minn., that would become part of a proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine. Photo: AP/ Jim Mone
This Feb. 10, 2016, file photo shows a former iron ore processing plant near Hoyt Lakes, Minn., that would become part of a proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine.

March 06, 2018 06:35 PM

A federal judge has put on hold four lawsuits filed by eight environmental groups to block a land swap that the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota needs to move forward.

U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen stayed the lawsuits while Congress considers legislation to force completion of the land exchange between PolyMet and the U.S. Forest Service. The bill passed the House last November and is pending in a Senate committee.

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PolyMet wants to swap 6,650 acres of federal land in the Superior National Forest in return for a similar amount of private land. The Forest Service has agreed.

The environmental groups say the deal undervalues the federal land and violates other laws. PolyMet has disputed that.

In her order Tuesday, Ericksen denied PolyMet's motion to dismiss the lawsuits.

 

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Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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