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PolyMet: Comment Period Ends, EPA Rating Released

Updated: 03/13/2014 10:41 PM
Created: 03/13/2014 5:41 PM WDIO.com

Thousands of you participated. And now, the public comment period for PolyMet's proposed copper-nickel mine, is over. The 90-day period was for the 2,200 page document called the Supplement Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

"Now the harder work begins," explained Communications Director Chris Niskanen, from the DNR. 

The DNR and other lead agencies will now look at the comments submitted, and possibly make revisions and changes.

Approximately 50,000 comments were submitted, although a majority were in a form letter or email, which basically was the same message repeated over and over. 

"We want to do this right, not fast. It's impossible to put a timeline on how long it will take to review the comments," Niskanen added.

On Thursday, environmental groups from the Duluth area held a press conference at UMD outlining their continued concerns about the project.

Mining stakeholders have said for years that the project can be done to protect the environment.

Also, the Environmental Protection Agency released its rating of the SDEIS, and it was much higher than the first document. The rating is a EC2, which means there are environmental impacts that should be avoided in order to fully protect the environment. This is much better than the original "Unsatisfactory" rating that the EPA handed down in 2009.

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