Dear Governor Dayton and DNR Commissioner Landwehr: Order a PolyMet Contested Case Hearing
The undersigned citizens, organizations, and elected officials hereby request that you order a contested case (evidentiary) hearing on the PolyMet Permit to Mine application currently before the DNR.
As downstream communities (and supporters), we have a critical stake in the PolyMet decision. The proposed mine is in the watershed of Lake Superior, the cleanest of the Great Lakes and largest freshwater lake in the world. Lake Superior is a critical resource for Minnesota and Duluth, and we have a special responsibility for its health. As such we expect that the claims of both project proponents and opponents be subjected to the highest possible scrutiny. A contested case hearing, subjecting claims to cross examination and the review of a neutral arbiter, is necessary, timely, and a normal part of the process. We request that you order the hearing.
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*The PolyMet Permit to Mine application has been submitted, and the MN DNR will make decisions about the draft permit and a contested case hearing soon. The time for this letter is now.
*PolyMet’s Environmental Impact Statement, prepared primarily by PolyMet and its consultants, has not yet been subjected to cross examination and neutral scrutiny. As noted by Governor Dayton in the sulfide ore mining context, the EIS process does not actually ask the question “is this a good idea for Minnesota?” The time to ask that question is now.
*According to numerous scientists, there are many technical issues raised by the PolyMet EIS that are not resolved (and would not be resolved through public comment), including questions about groundwater flow, tailings basin sustainability, and the ability to “scale-up” various company claims. We need these issues and others to be formally examined.
*A contested case hearing is standard when requested in Minnesota’s regulatory setting.
*This request is not intended to limit or make any suggestion about rights that municipalities and/or landowners have to initiate a contested case hearing as well.
Duluth News Tribune coverage:
Duluth for Clean Water is a citizen-based organization formed to express the interests of Duluth, a key downstream community, on copper sulfide mining proposals.