DNR - Monthly Twin Metals EIS Update – June 2020

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minnesota department of natural resources

Minnesota DNR - Monthly Update:
Twin Metals Minnesota EIS

About this Update

To provide information about the State’s environmental review of Twin Metals Minnesota’s project proposal, the Minnesota DNR will be issuing monthly updates to those who have signed up to receive them on the State web portal for Twin Metals Minnesota project. This message is the first monthly update.

Each monthly update will provide information on the status of Minnesota’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process as well as identify any new documents that have been posted on the Minnesota DNR’s webpages for the project since the prior monthly update.

Minnesota DNR is the responsible governmental unit (RGU) for the State’s EIS.  Please note that the federal government is preparing a separate EIS for the Twin Metals project.  Information about the Federal EIS is available here.

State EIS Process Status

Preparation of an EIS for any large and complex project is a multi-year process. Minnesota DNR is currently in the early stages of the scoping phase of the EIS process for the proposed Twin Metals project. The scoping process helps us ensure the future EIS assesses the proposed project’s potentially significant environmental impacts, but also helps define project alternatives, potential mitigations, timelines, and additional data needs.

Twin Metals Minnesota submitted its Project Proposal to Minnesota DNR on December 18, 2019. Since then, we have completed our initial review of the project proposal, determined that it was incomplete, and requested additional information from Twin Metals. The scoping process is iterative.  As is typical for a project of this complexity, we anticipate multiple rounds of Minnesota DNR comments followed by revisions from Twin Metals. Twin Metals is reviewing Minnesota DNR’s comments and we anticipate the company will respond to us in the coming weeks. 

New Documents Available

The following new documents were posted in June 2020 to our project website. Please click on underlined text to link directly to the material(s).

DNR Documents

2020, June 15 DNR-RGU Comments on TMM Project Proposal Description. This document contains the comments generated by Minnesota DNR and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency during RGU review of the Twin Metals Minnesota Project Proposal Description received on December 18, 2019. These comments have been submitted to Twin Metals Minnesota.

2020, June 8 Temporary Land Access Authorization for TMM. On June 8, the Minnesota DNR granted Twin Metals Minnesota a temporary access agreement to facilitate the collection of site-specific environmental data on state lands. The collection of this data is needed for Minnesota DNR to evaluate Twin Metals’ proposed project. The access agreement expressly states that no decisions have been made about the future use of state lands. The collection of environmental data from these lands is critical to our review as a regulator, as a steward of public lands, and as a fiduciary to the School Trust. 

Proposer Documents

No new proposer documents were posted in June 2020.

More Information

All project updates as well as key documents (new and previously posted) can be accessed through the State web portal for Twin Metals Minnesota project. The website provides access to basic information about the project, EIS status updates and documents, fact sheets to help explain the process and summarize complex issues, and proposer-developed data and studies that have been submitted for DNR review. Project updates are available through the News tab.

If you would like to receive email updates on the environmental review process please sign up with your email address.