St. Paul, Minn. (April 28, 2021) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the below statement following today’s Minnesota Supreme Court rulings which overturned the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ decision regarding the PolyMet NorthMet project’s dam safety permits and required additional process on a narrow issue relating to the permit to mine. The decision also affirms the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) regulatory authority regarding permitting processes:
“Today’s ruling on the PolyMet permits supplies the confidence that this project will move forward. Jobs for Minnesotans stands firm in our belief that responsible industries can both create family-sustaining jobs and investment in our state’s economy, while also protecting the environment.We encourage the company and the MDNR to move quickly to address the matters identified by the Court. We believe that the scientific record will support the project design and affirm the science and technology underlying over 16 years of environmental review.
“In its decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld – with one narrow exception – the multi-year, multi-agency review process conducted to ensure environmental standards will be met, and also the expertise and trust of the dedicated MDNR professionals to do their job. For this reason, this ruling is important to all responsible industrial projects looking to invest and bring jobs to Minnesota, even those beyond non-ferrous mining.
“The courts on seven other cases have upheld PolyMet’s extensive scientific record and permitting process. While we wait on the rulings of remaining court challenges for the project, this is another positive step forward for PolyMet after 16 years of regulatory review and we encourage all supporters to remain strong and hopeful as we look forward to the construction of this project.
“The PolyMet NorthMet project is expected to provide 360 family-sustaining jobs to northeast Minnesota, a region currently experiencing severe economic disparities and unemployment rates compared to the Twin Cities metro area. The project will also be the first in Minnesota to mine nonferrous metals needed for the growing demand of renewable energy technologies, 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 6,300 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: Nancy Norr, Board Chair