MPCA sends PolyMet revised permit documents for EPA review


MPCA sends PolyMet revised draft permit documents for EPA review

In response to comments received during the public notice period (January 30 to March 16, 2018), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) revised the draft air quality and water quality permit documents for the Poly Met Mining, Inc., (PolyMet) NorthMet mining project. The revised air and water quality permits and support documents were sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review on October 25.

This is not a final decision of the MPCA, nor is this a public comment period. Sending the revised draft permits to EPA is a normal step in the air and water permitting process as part of the federal oversight of the state permitting programs. In the interest of ensuring transparency for this high-interest project, MPCA is taking the additional step of posting the revised permits on-line. You can find the permits on the MPCA’s NorthMet project pages at

The 401 certification is not required to be provided to EPA for a final review prior to MPCA making a decision on the certification. It is on a different schedule and therefore not being posted on MPCA’s NorthMet project webpage at this time.

The MPCA considered the nearly 700 public comments, which resulted in the addition of numerous conditions to the permits. For example, the MPCA revised the draft air permit provisions to clarify conditions for fugitive dust control management and recordkeeping, and add monitoring and recordkeeping requirements. Examples of changes made to the draft water quality permit as a result of comments include adding additional permit limits and providing greater clarity on requirements related to the construction and operation of engineering controls (such as seepage capture and wastewater treatment systems).


Next Steps

The EPA will be reviewing the permits in the coming weeks. Following consideration of any feedback provided by EPA during this review, the MPCA Commissioner will make a decision on issuance of the permits. The intent of the MPCA is to make final permit decisions by the end of this calendar year.


Additional Information

As noted above, the permits are not open for public comment. This notification is intended to serve only as a progress report on the current status of the MPCA air quality and water quality permits. 

For the most up to date information, check the state’s PolyMet web portal and MPCA’s project website.

You are receiving this message as a subscriber to the PolyMet email notification list. This list is hosted by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It is used jointly by MPCA and DNR to provide regular updates and share information about key steps in the permitting/certification processes.