St. Paul, Minn. (September 27, 2021) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the below statement following the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) initiating the contested case hearing process for the PolyMet NorthMet project’s permit to mine:
“Jobs for Minnesotans is pleased that the MDNR initiated the process for a limited-scope contested case hearing on PolyMet’s permit to mine. We applaud the MDNR directive calling for a narrowly scoped hearing in keeping with the Minnesota Supreme Court’s order. We are confident the 16-year scientific record from the thorough environmental review of the project will stand.
“Bentonite clay capping of the tailings basin at closure is the single subject of the hearing. Bentonite is an established, effective technology that has been used extensively in many mining and other applications such as landfills. We look forward to the hearing where science that was once included and never challenged in the state and federal Final Environmental Impact Statement will once again be presented and this time documented in the permit record. We call on the chief Administrative Law Judge to schedule and complete the hearing in a timely fashion as the contested case is one of the last remaining matters to be resolved before the permit to mine can be reissued.
The PolyMet NorthMet project is expected to provide 360 family-sustaining jobs to northeast Minnesota and be the first in Minnesota to mine metals needed for the growing demand of renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other climate change solutions. Now more than ever, it is critical we secure the ability to mine these metals domestically, where these projects are held to the highest environmental and labor standards in the world.”
About Jobs for Minnesotans
Jobs for Minnesotans, a coalition representing business, labor and communities, supports statewide opportunities for prosperity and middle-class jobs from sustainable natural resource development in Minnesota. The organization is committed to the principle that our state can preserve both job opportunities and the environment for future generations. Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in 2012 by the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council representing 70,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 members and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Media Contact: Brian Hanson, Board Chair