PCA confirms comment dates for PolyMet permits
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Tuesday made formal the public comment period for the draft air- and water-quality permits for the proposed PolyMet copper mine project.The PCA posted the draft water permit Jan. 18 and the air permit on Jan.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Tuesday made formal the public comment period for the draft air- and water-quality permits for the proposed PolyMet copper mine project.
The PCA posted the draft water permit Jan. 18 and the air permit on Jan. 24, essentially agreeing that PolyMet’s plan to meet state and federal pollution guidelines is acceptable. But the agency didn't issue formal public statements or comment periods until now.
The PCA will accept public comments through March 16 and is holding two public hearings - Feb. 7 in Aurora and Feb. 8 in Duluth. The meetings will be held jointly with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources which will take testimony on PolyMet’s draft permit to mine.
PolyMet is proposing a $650 million copper-nickel mine near Babbitt with a processing center near Hoyt Lakes, expected to employ some 300 people. Supporters say it will help diversify the regional economy while critics say tainted mining runoff could damage local waterways.
The PCA said the draft air-quality permit contains legally enforceable requirements. The permit identifies the units at each facility that generate air pollutants, details the conditions under which the facility must operate to comply with rules and regulations and sets limits on those emissions. The draft water-quality permit establishes specific limits and requirements to protect Minnesota's surface and groundwater quality for a variety of uses, including drinking water, aquatic life and recreation.
The draft permits, and links on how to comment on them, can be found at polymet.mn.gov .