RELEASE: Clean water organizations announce "Move on from PolyMet" petition campaign
PRESS RELEASE: 7/19/21
CONTACT: Sarah Horner, MCEA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-868-3024
Duluth, Minnesota -- The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Duluth for Clean Water, and Sierra Club North Star Chapter launched a new campaign Monday calling on Governor Tim Walz to “Move on from PolyMet.”
With the 2018 PolyMet Permit to Mine back at the DNR for the first time since Walz was elected, and all other major permits in some form of stay, it’s time to move on and set a better course for Minnesota
“The persistent and significant flaws in this proposal do not need to be the Governor’s problem,” said JT Haines, Northeastern Minnesota Director for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. “This is an opportunity to lead, to acknowledge that PolyMet has failed, and set a better course for northeastern Minnesota that respects all communities in the region.”
“PolyMet’s proposed mine would threaten the health and safety of downstream communities, destroy thousands of acres of wetlands and habitat, and expose Minnesota taxpayers to massive financial risk. It’s time to move on and for Governor Walz to lead the way,” said Margaret Levin, State Director for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter.
Minnesota’s Supreme Court sent the main PolyMet permit back to the DNR this past April after determining the permit violated state law for failing to include a term, and required DNR to convene a contested case hearing. DNR is required to hold a contested case hearing on--at a minimum--PolyMet's proposal to control toxic reactions in its tailings using "bentonite," which is a type of clay. DNR is expected to issue a notice before the end of the year regarding its intentions, including whether it will broaden the scope of a hearing to include all disputed issues previously identified by the courts. With the main permit reversed, DNR could also decide a new application from the company is needed entirely.
The organizations began inviting members to contact Governor Walz with the “Move on from PolyMet” message earlier this month. Details about timing for delivery of the letter to Governor Walz will be determined soon. All are welcome to join the campaign. More information, as well as the letter, can be found at moveonfrompolymet.org.