Public Participaton

Prepare to Comment on PolyMet’s Environmental Review: Visit

Public participation is essential to the working of our democracy.  That the government represents primarily taxpayers (not private corporations) is a fundamental principle contributing to the welfare of the public at large.  Good government relies on active involvement of those governed. 

International guides:

Have your say.  WaterLegacy has been upholding the rights of citizens to a fair and balanced public process and adequate opportunity for input to the PolyMet environmental review.  Join WaterLegacy now (free) and act independently as well.

Comments from members of the public and the communities likely to be affected by a project are critical to whether that project is given adequate scrutiny.  Responsible agencies look to members of the community as well as “experts” to decide whether to push a company’s project through permitting or take extra care to make sure that natural resources, like water and wetlands, are protected. 

HISTORY of public participation requests

PolyMEt Draft EIS — ACTIONS and government agency responses — PolyMet in Minnesota

Inadequate Public Participation Provisions – PolyMet environmental review
READ MORE about the first sulfide mining proposal for which permits are being saught under Minnesota’s untried MDNR rule.

After over 4 years of development of the PolyMet NorthMet Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) by the company and these agencies, they pushed out for public comment a woefully incomplete analysis of the potential impacts accompanying the project alternatives.  Moreover, they did not provide an adequate public-input process for the environmental review of this dangerous, permanently-polluting proposed mine plan.

The 90-day public comment period was too short for meaningful public comment by many citizens and groups who are concerned.  Even though hundreds of substatntive comments on the shortcomings of the DEIS were submitted, many commenters were unable to do the necessary research and writing they would have been able to offer with another 3 months — which would have served all parties better.  More complete comments could shorten the work necessary to address technical informatin-gathering and research that will be needed to address the gaps in the DEIS.   Read more …

No Public Hearings allowed on PolyMet DEIS.  1/19/2010 MDNR and USACE denied request

Wednesday, Dec. 9 and 10, public meetings were held that did not meet the definition of a hearing.  Public discourse has been stifled by their format, which forcefully prohibited members of the public from speaking or publicly asking questions.  Read WaterLegacy’s letter to the Lead Agencies.   See the December 8, 2009  Press release that summarizes needed improvements in the public-participation process.

    PolyMet environmental review documents:  Gaps and flaws persist.

    WaterLegacy and other groups win re-notice of the PolyMet project under Clean Water Act section 404.

Adequate consideration of the vastly polluting proposal described in the DEIS required more time and more venues to learn about it.  This is critically important.  The agencies charged with protecting public health and resources would use the final EIS information as a basis for the first nonferrous permit to mine, which would knowingly generate toxic acid mine drainage on a massive scale in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and the Lake Superior basin for generations to come.

MEDIA:  WaterLegacy Calls for New Process to Restore “Public” and “Information” to the PolyMet Draft EIS Meeting Process.
See the December 8, 2009  Press release that summarizes needed improvements.
December 9, 2009  Star-Tribune story
December 8. 2009 Daily Planet story

WaterLegacy and other citizen groups are requesting additional public meetings, a more open public process and extension of the time for comment on the draft environmental impact statement until March 26, 2010.  Read the letter to the Lead Agencies …