Reader's View: PolyMet hearing will be on a single issue

This hearing is addressing the litigation on the permit to mine that was issued to PolyMet.

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The Minnesota Supreme Court directed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to hold a contested case hearing on PolyMet’s project (now renamed the Minnesota North Copper/Nickel Mine). This hearing is finally scheduled to begin on March 27. This hearing is addressing the litigation on the permit to mine that was issued to PolyMet.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, WaterLegacy, the Fond du lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Friends of the BWCA appealed the decision by the DNR not to have a contested case hearing. The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the appeal.

This won’t be a hearing where there will be comments by the public. It is to be a hearing where experts testify on one issue: Will the use of bentonite clay in the tailings basin work, and will it satisfy the DNR’s waste rule.

There is evidence from various parts of the world that the dam construction method PolyMet is planning is not safe and has failed, polluting miles of land and water around its construction. We in Minnesota cannot take the risk that PolyMet will do a better job of protecting our watersheds from a form of pollution that cannot be fixed.

It is time the DNR realizes its main function is to be a voice for the water and the land and to protect them for the many generations after us. It is our obligation to be good stewards of our world, and the DNR is an agency which works for the people of Minnesota.


Please let the DNR know this is not the time to permit mining practices that have failed elsewhere or to approve permits to companies with horrendous environmental and labor violations.

Contact the DNR by calling 651-296-6157 or sending an email to

Gay Trachsel


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