16 Nov 2021
November 16, 2021

Act Now to Defend Minnesota’s Mining Laws

November 16, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been ordered by the Court to review the state’s nonferrous mining rule and is accepting public comment on the matter through December 8, 2021.

The DNR is being ambushed through mining opponent lawsuits that are attempting to disrupt environmental review processes for mining projects in Minnesota. This attempt threatens the ability for any business to proceed through a predictable and fair regulatory process and is an attack on future economic development opportunities in our state.

It’s critical the DNR hears from you that the siting rule and the comprehensive environmental protections in state and federal law is adequate and that a ban on mining is not necessary.

Make your voice heard by submitting a comment through the DNR’s online form (recommended) or via mail to the below address:

MN Department of Natural Resources
ATTN: Nonferrous Mine Siting Rule
500 Lafayette Road N, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045

Please use (copy and paste) the below sample message as your comment’s starting point, amend as you see fit:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

I am writing in support of upholding the current non-ferrous mining rules in place in Minnesota, because these rules are designed to strongly protect our environment and ensure any new proposed mining project meets the stringent standards in place before it can be permitted. I support upholding the current non-ferrous rules for the following reasons.

  • The challenge to DNR rules is not supported by science or facts. Challengers are attempting to stop short the environmental review process with studies that lack credibility and provide hypothetical descriptions of what nonferrous mining projects might look like in Minnesota.
  • DNR should determine that it can depend on a broad range of environmental review and regulatory tools to assess the specifics of a mining proposal and ensure that it is regulated to the fullest extent necessary to protect the BWCAW.
  • The purpose of the DNR’s nonferrous mining rule is not to either prohibit nonferrous mining in the Rainy River watershed or grant blanket permission for mining to begin. Federal and state environmental laws, rules, and regulations require the successful completion of extensive review and permitting processes for mining operations to begin.
  • The rules are designed to act as a framework within which specific permit requirements are to be developed to address the unique issues anticipated to exist at each individual mine site, and they are meant to adapt to mining developments as they evolve, and technologies improve.
  • The state of Minnesota has already taken the necessary actions to protect the BWCAW through a long history of federal and state actions that strictly govern mining activity.
  • Mining in Minnesota has for more than 130 years coexisted with the wilderness and supported the economic stability of our state.
  • Every new mining project deserves to be evaluated individually and specific to their site, design and geology.
  • The Minnesota courts already rejected a challenge to these same rules in 2019.

I strongly support the DNR upholding the validity of the current non-ferrous mining rules, because the rules and the stringent regulatory review process in place are designed to adequately protect our environment, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.