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What to Expect at PolyMet Comment Meetings

Updated: 01/07/2014 10:40 PM
Created: 01/07/2014 4:41 PM WDIO.com

The Commissioner of the DNR stopped by our studios on Tuesday to share about how the public informational meetings will be laid out, for the PolyMet project.

Their recently released supplemental draft EIS is an in-depth analysis of the project, and the potential environmental impacts, and the potential solutions to those. The SDEIS requires a public comment period, which has begun.

The first two hours of the meetings will be an open-house format, with 16-18 tables of information and a video from the DNR.

Then the final three hours will be for people to give their comments through a microphone.

You can also give your comments privately to a stenographer. you can also give your comment anytime online or by mail, until March 13th. That's the end of the 90 day public comment period.

By law, according to DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, the DNR will need to address each comment. He said they've already received about 3,000. But 90% of them are all the same, and are computer generated.

"If we have two thousand comments of exactly the same thing, we'll consider that one comment and address it. It doesn't make it more significant just because 2,000 people commented on it," he explained.

He also said, "It's not a referendum on whether or not you like mining. We need people to focus on what's missing from the supplemental draft EIS, and should we do things differently, or are there other things we can consider."

Landwehr said they're still working on how they will queue up the people who speak publicly in front of the crowd. "I don't want people to think it's going to be like Black Friday at Best Buy."

Iron Range chamber leaders said there are seven buses coming down from that region for the Duluth meeting.

Public Meetings

The Co-lead Agencies will hold three public informational meetings for the purpose of providing information on the project, answering questions and gathering public comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS.

Verbal and written comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS will be accepted at these meetings.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

350 Harbor Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

5:00 p.m. - open house

6:45 - 10:00 p.m. formal presentation and public comment period

Note: this meeting will also serve as the public hearing for the USACE Section 404 Clean Water Act Permit.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mesabi East High School

601 N 1st St W, Aurora, MN 55705

5:00 p.m. - open house

6:45 - 10:00 p.m. formal presentation and public comment period

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

St. Paul RiverCentre

175 West Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55102

5:00 p.m. - open house

6:45 - 10:00 p.m. formal presentation and public comment period

Weather-related Cancellations

Comments will be accepted until 4:30 PM CT on Thursday, March 13, 2014. Submit comments via email to: NorthMetSDEIS.dnr@state.mn.us E-mail submissions should include a full name and legal mailing address.

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

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