A judge hearing requests for exemptions from the state government shutdown appeared to take a hard line Monday
Polymet Mining Company appeared before Judge Kathleen Gearin. The company asked that employees with the Department of Natural Resources NR who are working on an environmental study of its proposed copper-nickel mine be allowed to return. The company's attorney said that since Polymet is paying for the study, employees should be allowed to continue. Judge Gearin wasn't persuaded by that argument
"If the other branches of government fail to come to some conclusion about the budget — and they have — business life, personal life, is just not going to be the same in this state for quite a while," Gearin said.
The DNR is not taking a position on the matter, but a spokeswoman told Judge Gearin that two other mining companies are also in the environmental review process.