Comment period for copper-nickel mine Supplemental Draft EIS closes March 13

(Released February 27, 2014)

The 90-day public comment period for the NorthMet Mining Project and Land Exchange Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) will end March 13, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. So far, the agency has received more than 19,000 comments.

While the co-lead agencies – the DNR, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service – received and carefully considered requests to extend the comment period, the deadline will not be extended. The requests received did not include any substantive arguments or rationales that were not already fully considered in the design of the original public comment period.

The co-lead agencies appreciate the high level of public interest in the SDEIS and have made efforts to ensure the public has had ample opportunity to review and comment on the document. Those measures include a comment period that is twice as long as required, three public meetings and supplemental materials such as videos and fact sheets.

The SDEIS provides an analysis of the environmental effects of PolyMet Mining Inc.’s proposed NorthMet project. The copper-nickel mine would be located in northeastern Minnesota, near Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt.

Public input on the SDEIS is a critical component to informing governmental decision makers about potential environmental consequences of the proposed mining project and associated land exchange. The co-lead agencies encourage the public to continue to provide comments until the deadline on March 13.

Email comments can be submitted to NorthMetSDEIS.dnr@state.mn.us. Email submissions should include a full name and legal mailing address.

Written comments may also be submitted to: Lisa Fay, EIS project manager, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, Environmental Review Unit, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 25, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.

After the comment period ends, the co-lead agencies will carefully consider all comments received and determine if additions or revisions are needed for the Final EIS.

More information about submitting comments and the project can be found at the DNR’s website at www.mndnr.gov/polymet.