St. Paul, Minn. (May 31, 2023) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the below statement following today’s determination by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that its nonferrous mining rule is adequate to protect air and water quality standards, and that the agency will narrowly reopen rulemaking related to light and noise standards:
“Jobs for Minnesotans supports the DNR’s decision to largely uphold its nonferrous mining rules. The DNR acknowledged that current rules and standards, which are some of the most rigorous environmental standards and regulations in the world, are adequate to protect water and air quality in the BWCAW,” says Dave Chura, board chair of Jobs for Minnesotans.
“The rules largely defended today require any nonferrous mining project proposed in Minnesota to prove it can operate safely without impacting the surrounding environment. Every mine proposal is unique and specific to its leases, location and mining methods. Every geological deposit the proposal sits on is different. We need to allow each project to be evaluated based on science and facts.
“We urge the DNR to proceed with the narrow scope of rulemaking ordered today expeditiously and advance the environmental review of any proposed nonferrous project submitted in a timely, predictable and transparent manner.
“Today’s court-ordered decision stemmed from another failed attempt to kill the mining industry – and thousands of associated high-paying jobs – in Minnesota. Those opposed to mining have failed to kill the industry through the legislative process, but instead were trying to re-write regulations through the courts.
“We urge the DNR to proceed because we need these critical minerals for our clean energy future. We can safely and responsibly develop the minerals essential to our nation’s clean energy transition AND protect our environment. We can do both because of the skilled agency professionals reviewing and regulating proposed mining projects, the advancement of modern mining technology and effective environmental standards outlined in law.
“Nonferrous minerals include copper, nickel, cobalt and platinum group minerals essential to the clean energy transition, achieving the goals set by our elected leaders and securing domestic supply chains. Wind turbines, battery storage, solar panels, medical devices and broadband technology all require vast amounts of these minerals. We can safely develop them with high labor standards right here in Minnesota.”
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.