Sen. Eichorn’s statement at public review of draft permits for PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet Mining Project

On Thursday, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) hosted a public review and comment session in Duluth to discuss draft state permits for PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet Minning Project.

Sen. Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) attended the session and issued the following statement in support of the PolyMet Project:

“Let me start by saying that I am in strong support of the PolyMet NorthMet Project, as I believe it will have a beneficial impact on my district Minnesota as a whole. The state has done great work and had an extensive review, and I trust the findings of the state’s experts, which have shown the project will continue to protect people and the environment.

This project will provide a boost our economy, bringing hundreds of new jobs to Northern Minnesota. These are good paying union jobs, that pay a living wage, the kind of jobs you can support a family on.

PolyMet has been a good neighbor and has been true to its word. It has already invested more than $300 million in this project, with most of that being spent in our region and our state. That number will only grow once the project is completed.

Minnesota has some of the strictest environmental standards of any state and Polymet has already demonstrated through the environment review and permitting process that it can not only meet, but exceed those standards.

This is not the first mine of its type. In fact, many modern copper and nickel mines have already shown they can operate without polluting and comply with state and federal laws for protecting air and water. For example, the Eagle mine in Michigan and the Flambeau mine in Wisconsin are two local examples of successful and environmentally safe mines. One of the two; the Flambeau Mine, has already been operated, closed and reclaimed without any environmental violations. We should expect PolyMet to be no different.

I live here, so do my wife and kids, and my family has been here for generations. I want an economy that will allow my kids to have the same opportunities for jobs that previous generations have had. We know that we can mine responsibly and protect our water, and for that reason I encourage you to approve the draft permit.”