The PolyMet copper-nickel mine received its final permit in late March of 2019 and PolyMet’s CEO, Jon Cherry expressed his excitement to “responsibly build and operate a copper-nickel-precious metals mine within the world-class Duluth Complex.”
The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and WaterLegacy were the three conservation groups that filed appeals in the summer of 2018 alleging that PolyMet was planning to build something much larger than what was proposed to Minnesota. The Groups also asked the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct further environmental review on the mine, challenging their initial analysis.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals says that “the DNR’s analysis is based on a proper application of the law, supported by substantial evidence, and is not arbitrary and capricious” and indicates the extensive environmental review done by “both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)” as well.
Lawsuits have continually be filed against the PolyMet copper-nickel mine by environmental groups, but this court decision serves as the first formal opinion on any of the cases.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals released their unanimous ruling on May 28 that rejects arguments made by conservation groups in Minnesota that asked for further environmental review of PolyMet’s Copper-Nickel mine in Northeastern Minnesota.
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Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.