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Boreal Community Media

Court of Appeals continues suspension of PolyMet permits

Oct 25, 2019 04:37AM ● By Editor
Plans for PolyMet include building dams to increase the storage capacity of tailings basins. One would be built in the distance to raise the basin on the right to the level of the area on the left. Photo: file / Duluth News Tribune

By Jimmy Lovrien from the Rochester Post-Bulletin - October 25, 2019

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Thursday, Oct. 23, said it would continue a suspension of the "permit to mine" and "dam safety permits" for PolyMet, the mining company vying to become Minnesota's first copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt.

The order comes just one day after the court heard oral arguments from environmental groups and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, who want the court to reverse the permits, and from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and PolyMet, which are defending the permits.

The court said it will continue the stay until it makes a decision on the permits. It has 90 days from oral arguments to make such a decision.

"Based on the record and the arguments of the parties, we conclude that it is appropriate to continue the stay through this court's disposition of the appeals," Chief Judge Edward Cleary wrote.

The court suspended those permits last month after two post-permitting developments: Glencore took a 72% stake in PolyMet in June and a Vale tailings dam collapsed in Brazil in January, killing more than 200 people.

Separately, PolyMet's national pollutant discharge elimination system, or NPDES, permit, which regulates water discharged from industrial activities, remains on hold after an August order by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the Rochester Post-Bulletin website.

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