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DNR did great job on PolyMet

Thorough, objective analysis on vital project.

Supporters of the PolyMet copper/nickel/precious metals project near Hoyt Lakes said the Department of Natural Resources and other co-lead agencies ruling on a final Environmental Impact Statement were just taking far too long.

Opponents of the nonferrous project said they could wait and wait and wait and wait and …..

But the bottom line is that DNR employees and its commissioner, Tom Landwehr, were doing their job in a complete and thorough manner.

On Friday all those involved in the process, including the two other co-lead agencies — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service — polished off and released the final EIS product.

We are obviously extremely pleased with the result of the EIS, which says the PolyMet project meets all state environmental standards (really exceeds them) for a “safe” mine venture. In other words: Copper/nickel mining can be done in an environmentally sound way while creating, in the case of PolyMet, 350 permanent jobs, several hundred more indirect positions and more than 2 million hours of construction.

That clears the way for a determination of adequacy for the project — which is really only a formality as officials would not have published an EIS document that was not adequate — and then to allow for permit applications.

It’s an historic step toward Minnesota’s first nonferrous mining operation, which is obviously controversial.

But the DNR commissioner and his staff, all of whom worked tirelessly to produce the final EIS, put their blinders on and put together a document based on science and common sense.

It was clearly an independent-based procedure.

We applaud the work of  . Mark Dayton’s DNR commissioner, Tom Landwehr, and his staff. They served Minnesotans very well.

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