DNR - Quarterly PolyMet Permitting Update – 1st Quarter 2018

minnesota department of natural resources

PolyMet Permitting Update

April 12, 2018

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 fourth quarterly update issued by the DNR.

Permit to Mine

Since the last quarterly update, the DNR placed a draft Permit to Mine on public notice and accepted public comments and objections from January 5, 2018 through March 6, 2018.  The draft Permit to Mine is comprised of the permit application, draft Special Conditions, and a draft Wetlands Replacement plan.  The draft Permit to Mine and several related fact sheets were posted on the DNR’s Permit to Mine webpage for the NorthMet project.

On January 29, 2018, the DNR deemed the PolyMet application “filed” in accordance with the newspaper publication requirements established in state law.  This determination triggered a 30-day opportunity to file petitions for a contested case hearing on the draft Permit to Mine.  The petition opportunity ended on February 28, 2018. 

The DNR and MPCA held joint public meetings on February 7th and 8th regarding DNR’s draft Permit to Mine and the MPCA’s draft air quality permit, draft water quality permit, and draft 401 certification.  The meetings were held in Aurora and Duluth and featured an open house where the public could talk directly with agency staff, the state-hired consultants, and PolyMet.  Each meeting also included a public comment forum where attendees could provide oral comment on the draft permits with agency leadership listening.

Since the close of the comment and objection period, the DNR and its consultants have started the review and careful consideration of the public comments, objections, and petitions for a contested case hearing. This extensive review may result in changes to the draft permit. Using the decision criteria outlined in statute, the DNR will determine whether to hold a pre-decisional contested case hearing and the scope of any such hearing.  If no contested case hearing is held, DNR will proceed to making its final decision on the draft Permit to Mine. 

More Information

All GovDelivery messages, as well as additional documents, reports, and applications received to date are available on the State’s PolyMet Portal. Previous GovDelivery messages are under News on the main portal. Click on the DNR link to access other DNR-related documents.