Thousands tell DNR their thoughts on proposed PolyMet mineby Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — A 45-day comment period is winding down on environmental issues associated with PolyMet Mining's proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes.
Public comments on the project's draft environmental documents will be accepted through 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The controversial mining project has generated about 2,000 comments so far, said Colleen Coyne, communications director for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
While some groups have called for an extended comment period, Coyne says the sheer number of oral comments, emails and letters, suggest there's no need to extend.
"The decision has been made by us and the [Army] Corps of Engineers that the comment period will not be extended and there will be no additional public meetings," Coyne said. "Generally we're in the, that teens to several hundred to perhaps up to 1,000. Receiving 2,000 comment letter, emails, and oral comments is fairly significant."
Interest comes largely over fears the project will create long-lasting pollution as water drains through acidic rock. PolyMet says it can mine the metals while protecting air and water.
The public comments will be addressed in the project's final environmental impact statement, or EIS.