Three Duluth City Councilors Seek Polymet Evidentiary Hearings

The hearing would bring an impartial judge to look at a possible permit to mine application.

Three Duluth City councilors say they’re listening to the call of their city and are asking the Minnesota DNR for a contested case hearing on a possible Polymet permit to mine application.

The proposed resolution basically asks the DNR to have the permits go before an impartial judge. The councilors say the reason behind that is to have all the facts and science be heard and come to light.

Councilors Anderson, Sipress, and Westerlund will introduce a resolution asking the DNR to consider evidentiary hearings if and when Polymet submits for a permit to mine application.

Councilors have said the proposed mine represents one of the most challenging environmental discussion of our generation.

“Yes, we need jobs but the Lake behind me is life itself, not for 300 people, not for 3,000 people but for millions. No one in the world bears a greater responsibility for its health than we do, Duluth must be heard,” said Councilor Gary Anderson.

The councilors added the nature of this mine being it of the copper nickel variety brings the entire region into uncharted territory.

“Our community, our health gives us a central stake in this decision. We are not outsiders. We are not bystanders. We have a stake in this this decision and if we in Duluth do not make our stake clear, no one else will,” said Councilor Joel Sipress.

The proposed mine would bring about 300 jobs to the area.

Polymet has already submitted four applications.

If Polymet does continue to pursue the mine and it gets approved, work could begin as early as next year.

The resolution is expected to go before the council on Monday. The proposed resolution does have no jurisdiction on the DNR, since it is a state agency.

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