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Minnesota PolyMet mine critics deliver petitions as comment period ends



ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Environmental groups have delivered around 10,000 citizen comments and petitions to the Department of Natural Resources expressing concerns about the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

Tuesday was the deadline for submitting public comments to the DNR on PolyMet’s draft permit to mine, which the project needs to move forward.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and allied groups say the draft permit won’t sufficiently protect water or people downstream from the proposed mine, nor properly shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.

Some of the same groups last week petitioned the DNR for a “contested case hearing,” a trial-like proceeding before an administrative law judge to sort out factual disputes about the project.

PolyMet and its supporters say the company can operate safely while creating hundreds of jobs.

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