DNR - Monthly Twin Metals EIS Update - August 2020

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minnesota department of natural resources

Minnesota DNR - Monthly Update:
Twin Metals Minnesota EIS

September 1, 2020

About this Update

To provide information about the State’s environmental review of Twin Metals Minnesota’s project proposal, the Minnesota DNR is 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 monthly update for activity during August 2020.

Each monthly update provides information on the status of Minnesota’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process and identifies 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. [Please note that the Federal EIS link is not set up to open with Internet Explorer; an alternate browser is needed.]

State EIS Process Status

Preparation of an EIS for any large and complex project is a multi-year process. Minnesota DNR is currently early in 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.

Revised proposal: 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 on June 15, we requested additional information from Twin Metals. On July 24, 2020, Twin Metals submitted its revised Project Proposal to Minnesota DNR along with its responses to our comments. At this time, we are continuing to review the information submitted by 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.

Access agreement: On August 18, the Minnesota DNR granted Twin Metals a temporary access agreement to facilitate the collection of site-specific data regarding archaeological resources and architectural history on state lands. Under the agreement, Twin Metals will invite the participation of cultural resource experts from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the Boise Forte Band of Chippewa, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and all federally-recognized Bands signatory to the 1854 Treaty. The collection of these 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.  

Contractor RFP: On August 31, the Minnesota DNR issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire a consultant to assist in our review of the proposed project. Based on the complexity of the proposed project and the level of public interest, it is important for DNR to retain additional capacity and technical expertise early in the review process. Twin Metals is required to reimburse all the costs associated with the EIS, including contractor assistance. We are accepting consultant proposals through November 3, 2020.

New Documents Available

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

DNR Documents

August 31, 2020 Notice of RFP availability in the Minnesota State Register, Volume 45, Number 9. The RFP is available on the StateWide Integrated Financial Tools (SWIFT) website under the Bidding Opportunities tab. It is titled: DNR EWR TWIN METALS MINNESOTA PROJECT.

August 18, 2020 Temporary Land Access Authorization for TMM.

Proposer Documents

No new proposer documents were posted in August 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.