Gov. Dayton to visit mining sites ahead of PolyMet decision
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton plans to visit two out-of-state mining sites, in preparation for his review of the northern Minnesota PolyMet project. The governor will visit Gilt Edge Mine in South Dakota Oct. 27 and Eagle Mine in Michigan Oct. 30,...
ST. PAUL - Gov. Mark Dayton plans to visit two out-of-state mining sites, in preparation for his review of the northern Minnesota PolyMet project.
The governor will visit Gilt Edge Mine in South Dakota Oct. 27 and Eagle Mine in Michigan Oct. 30, his spokesman Matt Swenson said in an advisory.
Dayton has resolutely maintained his neutrality on the proposed copper and nickle PolyMet mining project.
Despite that, the DFL governor has not downplayed the controversy the large-scale project has attracted.
“This is going to be a very protracted process … as it deserves to be because it is of such an enormous magnitude for so many people,” Dayton said this summer. Ultimately, he said, he will come down for or against the project and hope that the result does not create a long, lasting regional “conflagration.”
The governor had said this summer that he would visit at least four sites, two picked by project supporters and two by project opponents, to get a sense of the PolyMet project’s impact. His office has not announced the other two site-visits.
According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Gilt Edge Mine, picked by opponents, has resulted long-term environmental degradation.
“In the late 1990s, the most recent mine operator, Brohm Mining Company left about 150 million gallons of acidic heavy-metal-laden water in three open pits and millions of cubic yards of acid-generating waste rock. Historical operations at the site contaminated surface water and leachate with hazardous chemicals. Investigation and cleanup activities at the site are ongoing,” the EPA said of Gilt Edge.
The regulatory review of PolyMet continues with possible decisions on permitting next year.
The Pioneer Press is a media partner of Forum News Service.