PolyMet Permits – State and Federal
PolyMet proposes to retool an abandoned taconite processing plant and store its tailings waste on top of 1950’s era tailings basin unused for almost two decades. However, the PolyMet mine would excavate and destroy undeveloped forest and high quality pristine wetlands in the headwaters of the St. Louis River.
The PolyMet sulfide mine could not be built without major permits and approvals by both state and federal agencies. Four of these permits and approvals are explained below.
Abandoned plant in Hoytt Lakes proposed for PolyMet mine processing reuse. Photo by Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune.
PolyMet NPDES/SDS Water Pollution Permit – State MPCA
PolyMet Permit to Mine & Dam Safety Permits – State DNR
PolyMet Land Exchange – U.S. Forest Service
PolyMet Wetlands Destruction Permit – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
On March 21, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit that allows PolyMet to dredge, fill, and destroy wetlands. This Army Corps decision also claimed that the PolyMet environmental review process met federal requirements.