St. Paul, Minn. (August 5, 2019) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the following response to the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision rejecting a challenge to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources rules on non-ferrous mining by groups opposed to permits granted to PolyMet Mining Inc. for a copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes on the Iron Range:
“Once again the Court of Appeals has upheld the strength and validity of the State of Minnesota’s regulatory and environmental review processes. Opponents of the PolyMet NorthMet project also recently tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade the Legislature to approve new legislation that would have had the same effect.
“It’s unfortunate but true that investment in job-creating development projects in Minnesota today must involve calculating the costs and delays of inevitable legal challenges to regulatory decisions by well-financed opposition. Lawsuits, no matter how spurious, are now an intrinsic phase of the process, stretching out the time before people in the state can begin to experience the benefits from the project.
“But reasoned judgments ultimately prevail, as a group of Jobs for Minnesotans board members were reminded on a visit four years ago to the Eagle Mine, a modern, sustainably operated underground copper-nickel mine near Marquette, Mich., on the Upper Peninsula. On the very day of our visit the court ruled in favor of the mine owners in the last of the lawsuits filed against the project, which had been fully permitted seven years before operations began in 2014.
“Today the Eagle mine and its associated mill employ 400 full-time workers and is expected to have a $4.3 billion impact on the Michigan economy before its scheduled closure in the mid-2020s. We look forward to the day Minnesotans start to benefit from the 360 well-paying PolyMet jobs, plus those from the $1 billion construction project to get it started.”
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 55,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 companies and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Media Contact: Nancy Norr, Chair