Permit issued for PolyMet mine project

Permit issued for PolyMet mine project Photo: KSTP-TV

March 22, 2019 08:43 AM

A permit has been issued for PolyMet's NorthMet mining project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-St. Paul District completed its review and issued an individual permit for the project late Thursday.

According to a release issued Friday, the permit allows the company to "dredge and fill material into 901 acres" in St. Louis County as part of the construction and development of the mine.

Additionally, officials with the St. Paul District said the project has "indirect impacts to 27 acres" of wetlands in the area.

St. Paul District officials said compared with the original permit request, the approved one "avoids impacts to 500 acres of wetlands at the mine site and incorporates measures to minimize impacts to important ecological resources."

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Environmentalists had voiced concerns the project would create a permanent pollution source in nearby waters.

"This has been a very carefully weighed decision," Col. Sam Calkins, commander of the St. Paul District, said in a statement. "Our regulatory staff have worked extensively with the federal and state resources agencies, federally recognized Tribes, environmental organizations and the applicant. We are confident that we have identified an appropriately balanced alternative and proffered a permit that will allow access to an important mineral resource, while maximizing protection to natural resources including wetlands."

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Rebecca Omastiak

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