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Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to PolyMet Mine

Updated: May 28, 2019 05:10 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a request for another environmental review for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

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Environmental groups asked the appeals court to order the Department of Natural Resources to conduct a supplemental study of the impacts if PolyMet builds a larger mine than what regulators have approved. They point out that PolyMet has raised the possibility of a much larger mine with investors.

CEO Jon Cherry said the opposition is talking about a technical report from several years ago that laid out various production scenarios and mine sizes.

"What they forget to mention to everybody -- and we clearly put it in the report -- we didn't do any of those until we did additional feasibility studies, additional environmental review studies and additional permitting if we ever even chose to do any of those things," Cherry said. 

On Monday, the Court of Appeals said the DNR reasonably determined that the company has not changed its proposals in a way that would require a fresh environmental review.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says it will review the court's decision and decide on its next steps.

"PolyMet is misleading Minnesotans about the true size and risk of their proposal, while telling investors a different story," Elise Larson, a staff attorney for MCEA, said. 

The case is one of several pending legal challenges to the project.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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