Stay and Reopen MPCA Permits to Prevent PolyMet Toxic Pollution

On December 20, 2018, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) gave the PolyMet mining company an early Christmas present. The MPCA granted PolyMet a weak and unenforceable water pollution (NPDES/SDS) permit and a wetlands destruction (Section 401) certification for its sulfide mine that violate the Clean Water Act. The MPCA also denied citizens any chance of a contested case hearing in front of an objective administrative law judge.

Ask Minnesota’s new Administration to reopen these bad decisions.

WaterLegacy petitioned the MPCA to STAY and REOPEN these decisions on December 31, 2018 on the basis of state law and the Clean Water Act. Minnesota’s new governor and his administration has until January 30, 2019 to STAY and REOPEN the MPCA permit, certification and denial of a contested case hearing.

What is wrong with the MPCA’s decisions on the PolyMet sulfide mine?

  • MPCA denied a contested case, even though there are important disputed facts, such as whether PolyMet’s claims that it would perfectly “capture” polluted seepage were bogus.
  • MPCA granted permits even though the Agency knew PolyMet had new plans for massive expansion of its mine that require new environmental review.
  • MPCA granted a certification that will allow increased mercury contamination of fish and degradation in downstream waters in the Lake Superior watershed.
  • MPCA granted a water pollution permit that sets no limits on pollution discharged directly and through groundwater to streams and wetlands in the headwaters of the St. Louis River, the main U.S. tributary to Lake Superior.

Your ACTION today can defend our drinking water, wild rice, fish, and public health and hold our State agencies accountable for failing to comply with Minnesota and federal laws.

Please send your request for action to newly-inaugurated Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. Feel free to add your own thoughts to the email below and, when you’re done, click here to amplify your message on Twitter.