Another One Bites the Dust: Federal Judge Rejects Challenges to PolyMet Land Swap
Excellent news, as yet another lawsuit designed to delay the PolyMet mining project has been struck down in federal court.
A federal judge has rejected challenges by several environmental groups to a land swap needed for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.
U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen dismissed the four challenges late Monday. She ruled that the groups lacked the necessary legal standing to block the land exchange between PolyMet and the federal government.
She said that’s because PolyMet had not yet secured all the necessary permits to begin work, so the groups couldn’t establish that they’d been harmed.
PolyMet traded 6,650 acres of federal land in the Superior National Forest near Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes for a similar amount of private land last year. The environmental groups say the deal undervalued the federal land and violated other laws. PolyMet disputed those claims.
The PolyMet project has been under review for 14 years, and it is the most heavily studied project in the history of Minnesota. Last year the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued a Permit to Mine for the company because the state agency believes the project is capable of meeting Minnesota’s strict environmental standards.
It’s time to let hardworking Minnesotans get to work building the NorthMet mining project.