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Smith Amendment Would Complete PolyMet Land Swap

Sen. Tina Smith plans to introduce an amendment to complete the PolyMet land swap. Sen. Tina Smith plans to introduce an amendment to complete the PolyMet land swap. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press
Created: June 08, 2018 04:36 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Sen. Tina Smith has proposed an amendment to force completion of a land swap needed for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota

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The Minnesota Democrat plans to offer the amendment to a major defense policy bill that's expected to come up in the Senate soon. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is a co-sponsor. The language is similar to a bill that passed the House last November. The legislation would circumvent four lawsuits pending in federal court to block the land exchange.

The Sierra Club's national executive director, Michael Brune, urged top Senate leaders Friday to oppose Smith's amendment. He calls the land exchange a "sweetheart deal" that should not be fast-tracked.

Paula Maccabee, an attorney for WaterLegacy, calls it a "backroom effort" to circumvent the courts.

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STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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