Governor Mark Dayton says he intends to apply some of the policies created for a mine in Michigan to a proposed mine in northeastern Minnesota.
Governor Dayton says he's going to insist that an independent community group be created to review environmental regulations at a proposed copper/nickel mine near the Boundary Waters.
Dayton made the comments Friday after touring the Eagle Mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with other state officials. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine said the citizen group ensures the mine is meeting pollution control standards.
"There is a very rigorous set of standards that everyone agrees upon so that when they're comparing data they're comparing apples to apples data," the MPCA commissioner said.
The Michigan trip was part of a regional fact-finding mission to help determine whether the state should issue permits for the proposed PolyMet mine in Hoyt Lakes.
Earlier in the week, Dayton visited the Gilt Edge Mine in South Dakota. That mine, a Superfund site, was chosen by opponents of the PolyMet project to show the environmental damage such operations could cause. Mining advocates chose the Michigan operation, which they said has created 400 jobs. Eagle uses reverse osmosis technology to treat water at the mine site before discharging it into the environment, the same technology PolyMet is proposing.
The state is scheduled to release an environmental study in the first half of November with permitting decisions to follow after that.
Dan Kraker contributed reporting for this story.