DNR - Monthly Twin Metals EIS Update – May 2021

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minnesota department of natural resources

Minnesota DNR - Monthly Update:
Twin Metals Minnesota EIS

May 2021

About this Update

To provide information about the State’s environmental review of Twin Metals Minnesota’s project proposal, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (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 May 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 on July 24, 2020. Since then, we have completed our review of the revised project proposal, determined that it was incomplete and, on December 1, 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. As we continue to review this information, we are working toward resolution of unresolved comments. As requested, Twin Metals submitted a third revision of its Project Proposal to the DNR along with updated responses to our comments. We are currently 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: On August 31, 2020, the Minnesota DNR issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire a consultant to assist in our review of the proposed project. The period for contractors to respond to the DNR’s Request for Proposals (RFP) closed on November 3. The proposal evaluation process is now complete and the DNR has selected Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc (EOR) to assist us. 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.

Access agreements: On May 12, the Minnesota DNR granted Twin Metals a new temporary access agreement and an amendment to an existing agreement to facilitate the collection of site-specific data. The agreements are described below.


New Documents Available

The following new documents were posted in May 2021 to our project website. Please click on underlined text to link directly to the material(s).

DNR Documents

May 12, 2021 Temporary Land Access Agreement for TMM

On May 12, 2021, the Minnesota DNR and Twin Metals Minnesota entered into a temporary land access agreement to facilitate the collection of site-specific environmental data on state lands.  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 auxiliary mining purposes. No decisions have been made about the proposed future use of state lands and the agreement does not provide any rights beyond the ability to facilitate the collection of site-specific environmental data over the term of the agreement.


May 12, 2021 Amendment to Temporary Land Access Authorization for TMM

On May 12, 2021, the Minnesota DNR and Twin Metals Minnesota entered into an amendment to an existing temporary access agreement. The first agreement was entered into on August 18, 2020. The amendment adds lands on which to conduct cultural resource surveys. It also extends the temporary land access authorization from two to three years from the effective date of August 18, 2020, allowing survey work to continue into 2023. The remainder of the original agreement remains in effect. The collection of this data is needed for Minnesota DNR to evaluate Twin Metals’ proposed project. 

Proposer Documents

No new proposer documents were posted in May 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.

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