ST. PAUL, MN — Organizations across the state are sounding off about the MPCA issuing the final state permits for the proposed PolyMet project in Northeast Minnesota.
Jobs for Minnesotans released the following statement after the announcement late Thursday morning:
“Today, Jobs for Minnesotans celebrates the opportunities this final approval from the MPCA brings to Northeast Minnesota: hundreds of well-paying jobs and critical investment to sustain local communities. The issuance of these air and water permits is validation that the state’s very public, thorough and scientific process of evaluation, analysis and decision-making works. These permits will reenergize the region’s supplier and professional service network, assure long-term employment for skilled tradespeople, generate a more diverse and thriving regional and statewide economy, as well as create access to essential metals to power the green economy and our modern world. We applaud the hard work of the regulatory agencies involved in this process and express our deep gratitude to the citizens, businesses, labor organizations, elected officials and communities who have been resilient in their efforts to propel the project forward.”
In addition, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry and Tourism, State Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R-Ghent), issued the following statement in response to the MPCA:
“These final state permits are a big step forward the future of mining in northeastern Minnesota,” Swedzinski said. “As chairman of the mining, tourism and forestry committee, I applaud MPCA for its work in issuing these permits. Doing so will be a huge boost for job creation and the economic development in our state, and benefit our kids and our future as a mining community.”
Meanwhile, Duluth for Clean Water issued the following statement on the decision:
“We are disappointed in the MPCA’s decision. If built, PolyMet would be bad for Minnesota and a continual threat to Duluth and the water tens of thousands of people rely upon. Furthermore, PolyMet would be a climate disaster. There could not be a worse idea than destroying thousands of acres of carbon sink wetlands at this time. We demand that Minnesotans are protected. We will continue to oppose this disastrous project.”
State Representatives Rob Ecklund (DFL – International Falls) and Julie Sandstede (DFL – Hibbing) released the following statement regarding the decision:
“It’s terrific news that the MPCA has given Polymet the green light to move forward. We know we have the ability to mine precious metals right here in northern Minnesota in a safe, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly manner and the due diligence and meticulous review from the MPCA and other agencies has demonstrated this to be the case. Over many years, folks on the Range have been incredibly patient as we’ve waited to see this project move from just a concept to a functioning mine that will deliver quality job opportunities and with them, economic security for families, communities, and the region as a whole. Today’s announcement is one more step toward this vision coming true.”
You can watch the full MPCA news conference discussing the decision on the PolyMet air and water permits below.