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POLYMET SUBMITS ITS AIR QUALITY PLANS

CEO EXPECTS MINING APPLICATION-THE FINAL PERMIT IN COMING WEEKS

Jerry Burnes Managing Editor (Mesabi Daily News)

HOYT LAKES — PolyMet took another step forward Wednesday by submitting its air quality permit application to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The permit is one of several major applications for the company’s NorthMet copper/nickel/precious metals mine near Hoyt Lakes.

“As with our water permit applications, we took great care to ensure our air permit application provides full details of how we will meet air quality standards and protect the environment,” said Jon Cherry, PolyMet president and CEO, in a statement.

PolyMet’s filing comes a day after an environmentalist group from Duluth asked the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to consider an administrative law judge to oversee independent hearings on its permit to mine application.

The request was called a stall tactic by mining supporters.

The DNR said in a statement that it is too early for the state to declare a contested case since PolyMet hasn’t submitted a permit.

Cherry said the mining permit is the last major hurdle, and he expects it will be submitted in the coming weeks.

Today’s air quality permit covers the type and volume of emissions from the project, methods to control and monitor those emissions and the rules and regulations applying to the operation.

PolyMet was cleared for permits in March after nearly 10 years of review that saw the company spend more than $90 million.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr called the process “deliberative and thorough” at the time.

PolyMet is expected to cost $650 million to build and would create 300 jobs, with several more construction and spin-off jobs expected.

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