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Cravaack: PolyMet review to be released in Oct.

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LTV taconite mine
The LTV taconite mine closed in 2001. PolyMet Mining wants to convert it to a copper-nickel mine. Minnesota has no experience with this type of mining, but other such mines around the world have caused serious damage to water systems.
Photo Courtesy of PolyMet Mining

8th District GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack says the controversial PolyMet precious metals mining project in northeast Minnesota is on track to have a draft environmental review released to the public this October.  

Cravaack updated the project timeline after meeting with officials from the state and federal agencies reviewing the proposal. Cravaack said there don't appear to be any more holdups to completing the supplemental environmental impact statement. 

"The question I asked everybody, each agency, do you have what you need to proceed? And every agency has said yes," he said.

Release of the long-awaited review was delayed last fall when the Environmental Protection Agency asked PolyMet for more modeling of how the project would meet water and air quality regulations. 

Cravaack said draft review is set to be released internally in July, and to the public in October. He said all the agencies involved anticipate the report will be challenged in court. 

"The agencies have told us that even though they're going to do it to the best of their ability, making sure the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, they know they're going to have litigation," he said.

Two years ago, PolyMet's original Environmental Impact Statement was criticized by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has been more heavily involved in developing the new document.