The Hoyt Lakes mayor might find concerns about PolyMet ludicrous (Mayor's Response: “Gov. Walz, state need to stay the course on PolyMet,” Sept. 6), but many people, even those far away downstream in Duluth, still have unanswered questions about the copper nickel mine.
A News Tribune headline in October 2013 read, “PolyMet study: Water would need 500 years of treatment.”
“Water that runs off the site will have to be treated for hundreds of years or more to remove sulfate and metals to meet water quality regulations,” the story stated. “That's not a doomsday prediction by environmental radicals. It was written in the Preliminary Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement by EMR, the company PolyMet hired to develop a workable mine plan. ‘For purposes of this SDEIS, the WWTF (wastewater treatment facility) is considered a permanent facility and would be discharging treated effluent for perpetuity,’ EMR concluded in the original document given to government agencies in May.”
I wonder if there are new insights now. Also, if a December 2013 public-radio report was correct, it might cost $3.5 million to $6 million a year to monitor the site. Another concern would be the possibility of a dam collapse polluting the St. Louis River. How can we foresee hundreds of years when natural disasters are increasing worldwide, making it hard to predict what tomorrow will bring?
Instead of writing a condescending commentary, it would have been better to show an understanding to Minnesotans who care to protect the water for their children and grandchildren.
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