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Environmentalists urge closer look at PolyMet water permit

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An environmental group is asking regulators to take a closer look at the draft water quality permit for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

WaterLegacy petitioned the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Friday to reject the draft permit, and if the agency doesn’t, to convene a “contested case hearing.” That’s a trial-like proceeding before an administrative law judge to resolve disputed issues of fact. The group says the permit lacks adequate safeguards to protect water downstream, in violation of federal and state law.

WaterLegacy and other groups petitioned the Department of Natural Resources last month for such a hearing on the project’s draft permit to mine.

PolyMet says it can operate the proposed mine near Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt without harming the environment while creating hundreds of jobs.

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