The Republican leader of the Minnesota Senate says he’s “very, very disappointed” that the state Court of Appeals put on hold two permits for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine until a hearing next month. Nisswa Senator Paul Gazelka points to “somewhere around 15 years of permitting. Eventually there has to be a point where you say it’s time to move forward. It’s one of the largest reserves of copper and nickel in the whole world. If anybody is gonna mine that, why not let it be Minnesota.” Gazelka adds the state has strong environmental regulations.
But the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy responds the court said opponents have raised “serious, justifiable concerns” about ongoing regulation of the PolyMet project. One major issue is a planned dam to contain any potential spill.