April 28, 2014
In November of 2013, PRM submitted a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for state and federal records relating to mining operations in northern Minnesota – both existing, and proposed.
One highly visible proposed project is the PolyMet “NorthMet” copper-sulfide mine. The project has been in development for several years, and is currently under review by a number of state and federal agencies. NorthMet’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) was released at the end of 2013, and its public comment period recently ended with the submission of over 52,000 written comments to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
One component of the NorthMet project that has drawn comparatively little notice has been the “land exchange” portion of the project. If approved, the exchange would permit PolyMet to situate their mine site within the Superior National Forest, after the company had ceded an equal amount of land to the United States Forest Service (USFS) in trade.
The USFS recently produced documents in response to our 2013 FOIA request for mining records. PRM has hosted the documents on an FTP site where all of our mining documents are housed until they can be publicly posted (such as our recently posted records from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.)
Anyone who wishes to examine the USFS records prior to public posting can contact PRM at firstname.lastname@example.org.