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PolyMet Air Permit Statement

PolyMet Air Permit Statement

Better in Our Back Yard (BIOBY) is disappointed in the Minnesota Court of Appeal’s decision to send PolyMet’s air permit back. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency awarded the air permit in 2018 after careful review of the facts and science presented in PolyMet’s emissions calculations.

Remanding the permit now effectively undermines the MPCA’s decision-making process and opens the door for an endless loop of unnecessary reinvestigation. It’s not the right thing to do, and it’s not how we like to do business in Minnesota. PolyMet has been transparent throughout the process, only to be challenged and delayed by project opponents at every possible opportunity.

BIOBY is frustrated by this lack of decorum and urges Minnesotans to read between the lines yet again. Industry plays by the rules, but opponents seize every opportunity to rewrite the longstanding, carefully designed permitting process. Minnesota is ready to support renewable and clean energy technologies. Let us.

It’s time to stop listening to Friends of the Boundary Waters.

Lying. Misrepresenting facts to suit their own interests. Doubling down even when they’re wrong. When friends act like this, they’re on a fast track to ostracizing the people they care about most. It’s friendship-ending behavior, and it’s unacceptable.

Nobody should be friends with the Friends of the Boundary Waters anymore. They’re toxic. They’re so far down their self-created rabbit hole of stopping PolyMet that they’re clinging to untruths and refusing to accept the very facts and science they claim make their case. Why would “friends” operate in such a fashion? Well, to fund their very existence, that’s why. Misrepresenting facts is their attempt to draw in financial support and who wants to fund a losing cause?

The facts and science are on PolyMet’s side. Always have been.


The Supreme Court was unpersuaded by Friends’ policy arguments and has limited a contested case hearing to only one narrow issue concerning bentonite.

Friends wanted a full, open-ended contested case hearing that would delay PolyMet’s progress significantly. This isn’t a win for Friends. Not by a long shot. But they want their supporters to think it is.


PolyMet will NOT violate the Clean Water Act.

Friends wants to paint the MN Pollution Control agency as reckless, when in fact the PCA’s permit protects groundwater and surface water. It strictly prohibits PolyMet from violating water quality standards or degrading groundwater and requires more and better water quality protections than any mining permit in Minnesota history. There will be no Clean Water Act violations. Period.


The Supreme Court found no broad effort to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from submitting comments.

There’s no dark underbelly here. Nobody tried to prevent anyone at the EPA from submitting comments or raising concerns. Friends wants their supporters to believe that the  PCA destroyed documents and concealed an EPA scientist’s concerns around Clean Water Act violations. It didn’t and this accusation is wildly ridiculous. The facts were all on the table. The court reviewed and addressed them all. Again, PolyMet will not violate the Clean Water Act.


PolyMet will adhere to strict state and federal guidelines. One does not outweigh the other.

Friends wants their supporters to blindly believe that PolyMet is going to break the rules and violate Minnesota’s strict water quality standards. It’s absurd to suggest that PolyMet’s wastewater permit would allow the company to discharge at unallowable limits. The state’s standards are more stringent than federal limits, and PolyMet’s water treatment plan clearly demonstrates the company’s ability to operate within the required parameters.

Friends of the Boundary Waters is quite savvy at positioning their claims as science and fact-based, but in reality, they’re pulling at emotional strings and saying all the right buzzwords to fire up their support base. 

Look beyond these outlandish claims and trust the ACTUAL science. Remember that PolyMet’s permits were granted after 15 years worth of research and testing. Remember that PolyMet isn’t some big, bad corporation. It’s a company made up of people who live and work in Northeast Minnesota. They care about protecting the environment and our state’s future, too. They know mining and environmental stewardship go hand in hand, and they believe PolyMet is going to prove that we can do this right.