Better in Our Back Yard is excited about the news of PolyMet and Teck Resources’ joint venture, NewRange Copper Nickel LLC. These two Minnesotan projects coming together under a single business entity hold untold potential for responsible nonferrous mining development in Minnesota. Combining two excellent teams creates a powerhouse ready to navigate the permitting process and exceed all state and federal regulations. This is our chance to show the world that Minnesota stands at the forefront of clean, efficient, sustainable mining for the minerals required for clean energy technologies.
PolyMet and Teck Resources Announce Joint Venture
Better In Our Back Yard adamantly disagrees with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommendation on PolyMet’s Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit.
We believe the CWA Section 404 permit should be reinstated as soon as possible.
PolyMet earned its permits by following the process. The company completed a nearly 20 year environmental review, concluding with a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service in 2015. The EPA didn’t raise objections back then. Why now, when there has been no new evidence presented to suggest that the NorthMet project will violate any state, federal or tribal water quality requirements?
Better in Our Back Yard trusts the scientific review the agencies used for the FEIS. We also trust that PolyMet’s water treatment plan will address legacy mining issues and reduce both sulfate and mercury in the St. Louis River. This project will mean cleaner water and a step toward accessing the minerals we need for clean energy infrastructure in a region that has been left behind economically. The benefits keep stacking up, but we’ll only see them if we follow the process and allow the project to move forward.
Better In Our Back Yard is extremely disappointed in the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to withdraw Twin Metals’ mineral leases. This action works against the Biden-Harris administration’s renewable energy goals and securing domestic supply chains of critical minerals, while overlooking the fact that we simply cannot build the clean energy infrastructure we need without first sustainably mining critical minerals here at home.
Minnesota has shown time and time again that we can mine responsibly here. With 10+ years of investment in developing a sustainable mine, Twin Metals has proven the project can and will operate under the highest standards. Pulling the mineral leases is a setback that Twin Metals will overcome. Better In Our Back Yard stands firmly behind the company and urges elected officials and the general public to allow the company to continue the process. Our future depends on it.
Congratulations are in order for PolyMet, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled favorably on several key issues pertaining to the company’s water discharge permit. As expected, the court ruled the PCA’s decision to issue permits for the NorthMet project was made lawfully and followed procedure every step of the way. PolyMet’s permits demonstrate compliance with all federal, state and tribal water quality standards and should not be subjected to contested-case hearings. Project opponents have gone to great lengths to find procedural inconsistencies. MPCA will have to conduct a functional-equivalence analysis to meet the new precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court in the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund case.
We continue to place our trust in the process, and we echo PolyMet’s confidence in the science behind its plans for protecting the environment through responsible mining. Better In Our Back Yard supports responsible industrial development in Minnesota. The NorthMet project represents a positive step forward toward Minnesota’s sustainability goals. We can only transition to clean energy infrastructure if we can access the copper, nickel, cobalt and other metals found right here in our backyard.
Better in Our Back Yard is extremely disappointed in the Biden Administration’s unnecessary demand for another generic 2-year environmental study on the Rainy River watershed. Twin Metals has already spent over a decade studying the surrounding environment and any potential impacts from mining.
This directive goes against all efforts to address the climate crisis. The clean energy sources and electric vehicles necessary for a more sustainable future are wholly dependent on domestic mineral extraction. Two years of study won’t uncover anything new. It will simply delay the project, again. This withdrawal action is completely unnecessary and unfortunate for Minnesota. We need Twin Metals and the 750+ jobs and significant private investment it will bring to our state now, not two years from now.
Yesterday was a huge day for responsible industry. Better in Our Back Yard (BIOBY) celebrates the official completion of the Line 3 Replacement Project! After eight years of steadfast work, Enbridge completed a full replacement of the 1,097-mile-long pipeline from Edmonton, AB to Superior, WI.
Replacing the pipeline was an essential step in creating a more safe and reliable means of transport for natural resources. The new pipeline has been strengthened with state-of-the-art, thicker-walled pipe designed to protect the environment and support millions of people with access to a reliable, low-cost energy source.
The project proves northern Minnesota’s commitment to completing projects the right way. A thriving industrial sector depends on responsible, sustainable, safe work to repair aging infrastructure, explore metal and mineral resources, and manage natural resources.
The Line 3 Replacement project has created economic benefits during unprecedented times for Minnesota’s small businesses, Native American communities and union members. Safe, reliable transportation of natural resources is essential to sustaining and strengthening Northern Minnesota communities for years to come.
We’re standing at the starting line of the next generation. Of a better future. Of a revitalized economy that supports both industry and a green economy. But something is blocking the way: those who oppose every industrial project, no matter what, regardless of facts, science, or the needs of all Minnesotans.
We have to stop letting the voices of a few stand in the way of the needs of the rest of us. This is bigger than the Iron Range and bigger than Minnesota. We’re talking about the future of the entire globe—the power to start something new and great lies here with us.
We’ve got exceptional projects in the works that will usher in a new, greener economy for everyone. A strong industrial sector is critical to a stronger Minnesota.
Ending our dependence on fossil fuels can’t happen overnight. We must protect the environment and infrastructure today so that we can move safely toward renewable energy resources tomorrow. That’s the idea behind Line 3.
Clean energy infrastructure won’t just pop into existence. It will take significant resources, including metals and minerals. Recycling alone won’t cover the demand. We need raw materials to build wind turbines, electric car batteries, solar panels, and more. The materials have to come from somewhere, and responsible mining is the best way forward. That’s what PolyMet and Twin Metals can provide.
But not if projects can’t get permitted.
Over and over again, opponents are grasping at straws to delay the very projects that will make headway toward a brighter future. They’re picking apart permits that trusted agencies awarded after the science demonstrated capabilities to operate well within regulations.
Here’s the worst kept secret on the Iron Range: PolyMet and Twin Metals don’t want to pollute. That would be bad for both the environment and for business. It’s extremely costly to remediate, so preventing pollution at all costs is essential. That’s why they spend decades researching, testing and making sure projects can operate responsibly and meet the standards in place.
Here’s another secret: PolyMet and Twin Metals are committed to transparency. The public comment process is open to everyone. Anyone can dive in to learn as much about the project as they want.
Instead of listening to opposition groups, or us for that matter, take a look yourself. Look at the research and make your own decisions on what is right for our state, our country and the world. Then contact your legislators to make sure they hear and listen to your opinions. They’re certainly hearing from project opponents who aren’t telling the whole story and don’t represent the best interests of all Minnesotans.
We trust that you’ll see things with an open, clear mind and that you’ll support a future with a strong industry, a stable environment and, most importantly, happy, healthy people who can enjoy living life to the fullest.
Better In Our Back Yard (BIOBY) applauds Twin Metal Minnesota on becoming the first mining company in Minnesota to adopt battery vehicle technology. Twin Metals announced today it is converting the mine’s vehicle fleets from diesel to electric and strengthening its commitment to the fight against climate change by further minimizing the project’s footprint.
This is an exciting move, one that perfectly blends responsible industry with environmental stewardship. Electric vehicles will reduce the project’s onsite greenhouse gas emissions, decrease power requirements and maintenance needs, improve noise and air quality, and, most importantly, increase worker safety.
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.