Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

PolyMet Amendment Dropped From NDAA

The Duluth News Tribune ran an interesting article on the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was meant to expedite the exchange of land between Polymet Mining Corp. and the federal government.

Although the land swap has already occurred, it is unfortunate that Polymet will not have Congressional approval because anti-mining groups will now attempt to block the land exchange through the court system.

The article can be read below:

An amendment meant to expedite the land exchange between PolyMet Mining Co. and the U.S. Forest Service was dropped Monday from the National Defense Authorization Act.

The amendment would have reaffirmed the land swap deal that closed on June 28, with the company transferring nearly 6,900 acres of private land within the Superior National Forest boundary to the Forest Service in exchange for 6,500 acres at the mine site north of Hoyt Lakes, also nullifying four lawsuits against the deal pending in federal court.

The amendment was removed by members of a U.S. Senate-House conference committee.

Now plaintiffs in the various lawsuits, which argue that the Forest Service undervalued the land for its mining potential and that the agency didn’t fully consider implications on endangered or threatened species, are hoping to continue their fight.

Marc Fink, Duluth-based attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits, said in a statement Tuesday he was “glad” to see the amendment go.

“That puts the focus back on the court challenge, where it should be,” Fink said. “And we’re hopeful the court will agree that this land exchange is illegal.”

PolyMet maintains that the land exchange is permanent.

In a statement Tuesday, PolyMet officials said the company was “disappointed that the land exchange amendment failed to be included in the final version of the (NDAA)” adding later that “the Congressional stamp of approval would provide legal certainty.”

With vocal support from Reps. Rick Nolan and Tom Emmer and Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar, the amendment had passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

PolyMet hopes to use that existing support for another chance.

“As other opportunities present themselves, we remain optimistic that the Minnesota delegation will continue to push hard and Congress ultimately will get this done,” PolyMet’s statement said.

That was echoed by Jobs for Minnesotans, a group in support of the PolyMet project.

“We’ve worked continuously together, and we know how committed they have been to getting it done and that our delegation remains resolved to continue their efforts,” the group said in a statement.

Meanwhile, PolyMet is awaiting state and federal permits to build and operate its proposed mine and processing center at the site of the former LTV Steel Mining taconite plant. The company also must secure nearly $1 billion to build the project.

Company officials said Tuesday that the decision to drop the land exchange amendment won’t affect any of that.

Critics say the project is likely to send tainted runoff into local waterways, potentially polluting the St. Louis River system. Supporters say the 300 jobs at the mine will help diversify the regional economy.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • YLC Curling Event

    Location: Chaska Curling Center 3210 Chaska Blvd, Chaska, MN 55318

    Grab your broom and stone and join the Young Leadership Council for an evening of Curling at the Chaska Curling Center! $40 registration includes: Instruction Ice time and equipment Appetizers (Curling Center Bar will be available to purchase drinks) The event will begin with 15-20 minutes of classroom instruction on curling rules and basics followed by 20-30 minutes on the ice for practice and drills. Instructors will be on hand the whole evening to guide your games. Dress Code: Bring a pair of clean-on-the-bottom shoes to change into. No leather soles or metal lace hooks Loose fitting or strechy clothes…

    Register Now
  • The Diversity Delusion

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, April 24th at the Hilton Hotel for a lunch forum with Heather Mac Donald as she discusses her new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.  Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race…

    Register Now
  • 2019 Annual Dinner Featuring Nigel Farage

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now