PolyMet optimistic after EPA letter indicates progress

I’m back from a family trip to the Brainerd Lakes area. Let’s see, what have I missed. Hmmm. Oh, look, more nonferrous mining news that can be interpreted differently based your worldview. Well, I can’t pass on that.

This week, PolyMet released a letter from the EPA indicating that significant progress has been made on the company’s plans to build a nonferrous mine near Hoyt Lakes.

The EPA had outright rejected PolyMet’s bid for permits in 2010, sending it back for more work. And while the formal response is still in the works, PolyMet officials are touting the letter as a signal that they are closer to turning dirt on their project.

Project opponents are quick to point out that the letter does include concerns, and that only a view of the full response to the environmental impact statement will indicate what’s going on.

I’ve been saying all summer that the release of the formal response by the EPA will be the end of one phase of this debate and the beginning of a long, litigious new phase.

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