SAINT PAUL, Minn.— Senator John Marty (DFL- Roseville) and 17 other legislators are calling for Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan to suspend the DNR and MPCA permits for the PolyMet mine until the flaws in the permits are addressed. This request comes in light of newly released documents showing the MPCA failed to address many EPA concerns, and other significant developments.
The recent disclosure that state agencies involved in the permitting process failed to seriously address both EPA concerns and those raised by their own consultants exposes the corrupted process which prevented the rigorous analysis needed.
In addition, the tragic dam collapse, and the subsequent decommissioning of other mining dams in Brazil similar to the proposed PolyMet tailings dam has revealed the folly of approving such a risky system in Minnesota.
On top of that, the recent news that the irresponsible mining corporation Glencore now holds a majority of PolyMet shares has made it clear that the sham “financial assurance” required of PolyMet will leave Minnesota taxpayers financially responsible for the expensive cleanup.
“We need to investigate this apparent cover-up of shoddy practices in the permitting process. But we also cannot forget that a flawed process resulted in flawed permits. The new information available to Minnesotans merit a revisiting of the permits and the failures in the process that produced them. Let’s protect Minnesota’s public health, our waters, and the financial obligations of our taxpayers by suspending the permits until we fully address these issues,” said Sen. John Marty.
The letter calls for the suspension of permits until they are rewritten to protect Minnesota’s environment and financial interests. The letter signees include: Sen. John Marty, Sen. Jerry Newton, Sen. Richard Cohen, Sen. Jim Carlson, Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, Sen. Sandy Pappas, Sen. Carolyn Laine, Rep. Kelly Morrison, Rep. Steve Sandell, Rep. Alice Hausman, Rep. Mohamud Noor, Rep. Alice Mann, Rep. Heather Edelson, Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, Rep. Connie Bernardy, Rep. Tina Liebling and Rep. Jim Davnie.
Because of the significance of these new developments, the authors of the letter are planning to add signatures and formally present the letter to the Governor’s office in several weeks.