PolyMet releases final impact statement

The company’s proposed mine has seen both support and opposition.

Eliana Schreiber

The Canadian PolyMet Mining Corporation has faced significant opposition and support in recent months surrounding its proposed mine in northeastern Minnesota.
 
Early this month, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service released a final 
environmental impact statement for the project.
 
The statement lays out the proposed mine’s potential effects, good and bad.
 
The project would create an open-pit copper, nickel and platinum mine, the first of its kind in Minnesota.
 
The mine would create 360 jobs in the area, and a 2012 University of Minnesota- Duluth study suggested it could have a total economic impact of an added $515 million in St. Louis County.
 
The report also projects potential harm to air and water quality, wetlands and human health.
 
But the mining company has said it will use advanced mining techniques to mitigate harm to the area.
 
Others worry pollution could flow north into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, although PolyMet has said it will take precautionary measures to ensure the project will not pollute the BWCA.
 
Comments will be open to the public for a 30-day window, closing Dec. 14, said Army Corps of Engineers public affairs officer Patrick Moes.