DNR - Monthly Twin Metals EIS Update – January 2021

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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 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 January 2021.

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 DNR’s webpages for the project since the prior monthly update.

The 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. The DNR is currently 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 revised Project Proposal to the DNR July 24, 2020. Since then, we have completed our review of the revised project proposal, determined that it was incomplete and, on December 1, we requested additional information from Twin Metals. On December 18, Twin Metals submitted a second revision of its Project Proposal to the DNR along with its responses to our comments. We are now in the process of reviewing this information.

The scoping process is iterative. As is typical for a project of this complexity, we anticipate multiple rounds of DNR comments followed by revisions from Twin Metals.

Contractor RFP: The period for contractors to respond to the DNR’s Request for Proposals (RFP) closed on November 3 and we are continuing to work through the proposal evaluation process. The DNR is seeking 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 the DNR to retain additional capacity and technical expertise early in the review process. Twin Metals is required to reimburse all costs associated with the EIS, including contractor assistance.

New Documents Available

DNR Documents

January 13, 2021 Surface Lease for Observation Wells and Access

On January 13, the DNR granted Twin Metals a temporary lease to facilitate the installation of hydrogeological monitoring wells on state lands for the purpose of collecting important groundwater data. The collection of these data is important for both the preparation of an EIS for the proposed project as well as to inform the DNR’s review of Twin Metals’ proposed use of state lands for a tailings disposal facility. No decisions have been made about the proposed future use of state lands and the lease does not provide any rights beyond the ability to install and operate the monitoring wells for the three year term of the lease.

Proposer Documents

No new proposer documents were posted in January 2021.

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.