The Minnesota D-N-R has joined PolyMet in asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to reverse an Appeals Court ruling that blocked permits for the proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes in northern Minnesota. Aaron Klemz with Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy responds the D-N-R and PolyMet are trying to avoid a full trial to determine the facts. “Whether or not Minnesota taxpayers are protected in case something goes wrong is one of those big issues,” Klemz says, “but most fundamentally there are disputes about whether or not PolyMet will protect the water downstream.”
D-N-R officials say they thoroughly considered all the disputed factual issues and documented the basis for their conclusions. They add the court ruling fundamentally changes long-standing precedent on the agency’s discretion when making decisions about permits.