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PolyMet clears hurdle as hell freezes over

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PolyMet CEO Jon Cherry got a loud roar of approval when he announced that the Minnesota DNR had just released their Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement:

HOYT LAKES — Jon Cherry on Friday pointed out that opponents of the copper/nickel/precious metals PolyMet project have said the venture would move ahead only “when hell freezes over.”

The PolyMet CEO then referenced how fitting it was for the project’s supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to be released for public comment on a day when bitter cold temperatures struggled to climb above zero on the Iron Range. That prompted supporters of the venture, more than 100 strong, to roar with celebratory laughter in a room of the company’s administrative headquarters near Hoyt Lakes.

Opponents of the proposed PolyMet mine don't play fair. In fact, some media organizations are helping, possibly without knowing they're helping deceitful environmentalists. Here's what the St. Cloud Times editorial board put into their editorial:

That debate, already simmering for years, hits new heights Friday when the state releases an 1,800-page environment impact statement about PolyMet Mining’s proposal to create an open pit copper-nickel mine about 10 miles south of Ely.

Readers should look at the picture of what's known by Iron Rangers as 'the PolyMet Moonscape' that there's been an open pit mine on the proposed site. Unfortunately, that's minor compared with this propaganda:

The containment system PolyMet envisions has never been tried on this scale. And should it or other proposed mine systems fail, sulfide-laden waste materials could contaminate watersheds that feed both Lake Superior to the south and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness [BWCAW] to the north.

This Supplemental EIS only deals with the proposed PolyMet project. PolyMet is south of a continental divide which makes it impossible for any chemicals from PolyMet from ever reaching the BWCAW. While it's possible that other proposed mining projects might be north of the continental divide, that's irrelevant to the proposed PolyMet project.

That's because this Supplemental EIS only deals with PolyMet. It doesn't address possible future projects north of the divide.

Conflating multiple potential projects is a scare tactic. That way, unreasonable environmentalists can scare the maximum amount of people over a single project. That's because they aren't just opposed to this proposed mine. They'd love to defeat all precious metals mining projects before they start.

Science and common sense should dictate the DNR's decision, not scare tactics. Further, it's important that the region's economy be weighed in the balance, too. The median household income in St. Louis County from 2007-2011 was $45,399 compared with $58,476 for the statewide average.

Economic growth shouldn't be the only consideration in making this determination but it must be an important consideration.



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