Opponents of mine near Boundary Waters file amended complaint claiming ‘improper political interference’

Thursday, opponents of a proposed copper-nickel mine near the Boundary Waters filed an amended complaint to a lawsuit challenging the proposed mine.

The complaint alleges improper political interference from members of congress, including Minnesota U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber, in the renewal of mineral leases for the project run by Twin Metals.

A news release from by Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness claims because of the influence from politicians, the U.S. Forest Service reversed its prior position without considering "negative impacts, facts and science."

Opponents file new challenge to proposed Twin Metals mine

"Federal agencies are required by law to make reasoned decisions based on the merits – the facts, science, and the law, and this perversion of agency decision-making corrupts that process," said Tom Landwehr, executive director of Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters and former Minnesota Department of Natural Resources commissioner. "Time after time we have seen the Trump administration bend to the will of the rich, elite, and politically connected when it comes to the fate of America’s most popular Wilderness."

The complaint claims the U.S. Forest Service violated federal law by failing to justify its decision of approving the lease and changing its position because of political interference.