DNR – Quarterly PolyMet Permitting Update

minnesota department of natural resources

DNR – Quarterly PolyMet Permitting Update

April 14, 2017

1st Quarter 2017

Proposed PolyMet Site

About This Quarterly Update

To provide regular updates on the State’s review of PolyMet’s applications for its proposed NorthMet project, the DNR and MPCA are each issuing quarterly messages to those who have signed up to the GovDelivery list.  This is the second quarterly update issued by the DNR. 

Since the last quarterly update, the DNR has received new documents and information that have been posted on the DNR website.  These updates are as follows (please click on underlined text to link directly to the updated material):

  • In February, PolyMet updated its Water Appropriation Permit applications (large file size, 213 MB) to include a request for an appropriation of water from Colby Lake, along with appropriations from the mine and plant sites.
  • In April, PolyMet submitted an overall revised set of Water Appropriation Permit applications.  The revised applications (large file size, 213 MB) represent all changes to date, including those made by PolyMet based on initial feedback given by DNR technical experts.
  • In late March, PolyMet submitted a report titled “Proposed Waste Water Treatment System (WWTS) Relocations”. This submittal details a plan to co-locate the separate mine site and plant site water treatment processes into one facility that would be constructed at the plant site. 
  • Also in late March, PolyMet submitted a Technical Memorandum titled “Summary of Non-Mechanical Treatment Plans for PolyMet” (large file size, 168 MB). This document provides additional information on PolyMet’s ongoing research regarding non-mechanical treatment.  This memorandum is the last portion of Appendix 15.4 of the Permit to Mine application.

Permit to Mine

Since the last quarterly update, the DNR has received new documents as outlined above. The date of upload and specific page(s) are noted on the website where additions were made. DNR technical experts and external consultants continue to review PolyMet’s Permit to Mine application, which is subject to further modification. 

Financial Assurance

The DNR and its consultant, EOR, are continuing to review the financial assurance information in the Permit to Mine application. This quarterly update does not contain any new documents related to financial assurance. 

Wetland Replacement Plan

PolyMet continues to work with the DNR to provide additional information needed for the wetland replacement plan.  DNR technical experts continue their review of the wetland replacement plan information provided thus far.

Dam Safety

DNR technical experts continue their review of the Dam Safety Permit applications and related documents submitted by the company. 

Water Appropriation

PolyMet’s revised Water Appropriation Permit applications dated April 14, 2017, have been sent out for review by technical experts from other units of government having jurisdiction in such matters, as required by MN Rule 6115.0640.  DNR has also sent the revised permit applications to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for review. Following a 30-day review period, the DNR will consider input received from these governmental entities and determine whether to proceed with preparing draft water appropriation permits. This review is not the public input stage of the process. At a future date, the DNR will seek public review and input on draft permit decisions.

More Information

All GovDelivery messages, as well as additional documents, reports, and applications received to date are available on the State’s PolyMet Portal (click on the DNR link).

State PolyMet Portal