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Judge Puts Lawsuits over PolyMet Land Swap On Hold

A judge has put lawsuits challenging the PolyMet land swap on hold. A judge has put lawsuits challenging the PolyMet land swap on hold. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Created: March 06, 2018 05:04 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge has put on hold four lawsuits filed by eight environmental groups to block a land swap that the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota needs to move forward.

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U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen stayed the lawsuits while Congress considers legislation to force completion of the land exchange between PolyMet and the U.S. Forest Service. The bill passed the House last November and is pending in a Senate committee.

PolyMet wants to swap 6,650 acres of federal land in the Superior National Forest in return for a similar amount of private land. The Forest Service has agreed.

The environmental groups say the deal undervalues the federal land and violates other laws. PolyMet has disputed that.

In her order Tuesday, Ericksen denied PolyMet's motion to dismiss the lawsuits.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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