Image associated with Strong Industry. Strong Minnesota.

Strong Industry. Strong Minnesota.

Strong Industry. Strong Minnesota.

Dear Minnesotans,

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.

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.

POSITIVE COURT RULING FOR LINE 3 PROJECT

Better in Our Back Yard (BIOBY) is proud to support Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project and understands that decisions regarding industrial projects of this magnitude are often met with challenges from project opponents.

We applaud the MN Court of Appeals rulings today to uphold the project’s Certificate of Need, Route Permit and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). These decisions are in the state’s best interest, as the project is timely and necessary for protecting the environment, creating good-paying jobs for Minnesotans and growing the regional economy. The decision further validates all of the hard work that Enbridge has put in to show why Line 3 is what’s best for Northern Minnesota communities.

BIOBY stands firmly behind Enbridge and the Line 3 Replacement Project. Safe, reliable transportation of natural resources is essential to strengthening our economy for years to come.

CONGRATULATIONS DNR AND POLYMET

Better In Our Back Yard congratulates DNR and PolyMet for a big win today as it takes another important step in making the NorthMet project a reality. Today’s ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court effectively resolved a key legal challenge regarding PolyMet’s Permit to Mine and dam safety permits. The Court overturned a lower court decision that ordered an open-ended contested case hearing, instead limiting the hearing to one specific narrow issue.

As demand grows for renewable energy technologies, PolyMet gives Minnesota the opportunity to lead the way in responsibly extracting the minerals needed for a thriving green energy economy while providing 300+ family-supporting jobs and generating billions in private investments to a region that has beens struggling economically for decades.

Better In Our Back Yard is proud to support PolyMet as it works to open Minnesota’s first non-ferrous mine. After 16 years of regulatory review, we believe that PolyMet has proven that it will mine safely and responsibly.

Ryan Sistad
Executive Director
Better In Our Back Yard

PolyMet Wetlands Permit Statement

Yet again, PolyMet NorthMet project opponents continue to twist information to misinform the public and their supporters.

The latest jab involves the US Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to suspend PolyMet’s wetlands permit during the EPA’s 90-day review. This is part of an EPA process currently underway to review downstream water quality under the Clean Water Act. PolyMet has been cooperating fully in this review process.

There have been six state and federal cases over the past several months regarding various NorthMet permit decisions. To date, PolyMet has received favorable decisions in all six cases that have reached a final conclusion – four federal and two state.

Better in Our Back Yard is confident the outcome of this process will be no different.

IN THE LONG TERM, SCIENCE WILL PREVAIL

Yesterday, the EPA filed a voluntary motion to remand its downstream water quality decision. The action pertains to section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act. Under the law, when the Corps of Engineers plans to issue a section 404 wetlands permit, EPA has to consider whether discharges under the Corps’ permit “may affect” water quality in a downstream state or tribal reservation.

The action allows EPA to conduct a 90-day review of the evidence so it can issue an explicit finding under section 401(a)(2) to the Army Corps of Engineers.

When the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued its certification in 2018, the science showed that PolyMet’s NorthMet project has no downstream water quality effects, and the EPA has never said otherwise. The science was on the side of the project then, and the company says it is confident the science will again prevail in the review.

Better In Our Back Yard proudly supports PolyMet as they plan to fully participate in the process, and we’re confident that the science will once again show that PolyMet can responsibly mine the minerals needed for a green energy economy while protecting the region’s pristine environment.

Letter to the PUC, in support of LINE 3

Better in Our Back Yard Letter to the PUC:

This comment is in support of the Enbridge Energy Line 3 Replacement Project. The most recent request for a stay is unnecessary and counterproductive. Line 3 is already the most studied pipeline project in Minnesota’s history as the process nears six years of review. Wisconsin, North Dakota and Canada have already completed their portions of construction and there isn’t any logical reason as to why construction on the Minnesota segment of Line 3 hasn’t begun. Enbridge has met all Minnesota Public Utility Commission requirements proving the projects need beyond a doubt, as well as the requirements of every state and federal environmental permitting agency involved. In granting the multitude of environmental and construction permits, state and federal agencies have continued to reassert their confidence that the project will meet or exceed all environmental and safety standards

 As we navigate through the global pandemic, northern Minnesota communities and small businesses continue to struggle. Now more than ever, the region needs a significant boost to the economy and the replacement of Line 3 gives local communities the economic injection needed to avoid further economic hardship. Over 40 mayors in Northern Minnesota have stated their support for the replacement of Line 3 because they understand what the project means for the communities that they represent, and the commitments Enbridge continues to make towards safe construction.

 From an economic, safety and infrastructure integrity perspective, the replacement of Line 3 is a no brainer for Minnesota. It’s time to put our skilled professionals in the Union Building Trades to work and replace an old deteriorating line with state of the art technology that will provide the safest way to transport crude oil.

Stormwater Permit Approved for Line 3

Today is a great day for the future of northern Minnesota communities. Enbridge has been granted the construction stormwater permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the final permit needed for construction to begin for the replacement of Line 3.

Better In Our Back Yard congratulates Enbridge on six years of continuously proving that Line 3 will meet or exceed all environmental and safety standards while delivering billions of dollars in private investment, over 4,000 family sustaining jobs, millions in local spending, and a strong increase in local tax revenues when northern Minnesotans need it the most.

Job site safety is Enbridge’s top priority and the replacement of Line 3 will be no exception. As the nation navigates through the pandemic, Enbridge has made it clear that they will institute strict coronavirus testing and screening for workers. This will include daily temperature screenings, job site mask requirements, monitored social distancing, and regular sanitization of work areas.

Better In Our Back Yard is excited to see six years of hard work and perseverance from Enbridge and supporters across Minnesota come to fruition. Enbridge is poised to deliver a new pipeline with state-of-the-art technology that will provide the safest way to transport crude oil while reviving northern Minnesota’s economy and protecting the region’s environment that we all cherish and love.

PolyMet Mining Committed to Extensive Regulatory Process

Better In Our Back Yard (BIOBY) is pleased celebrate another win for PolyMet and Minnesota’s industrial sector. The Ramsey County District Court found no irregularities in procedure when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued a water quality permit for the NorthMet copper nickel-precious metals project.

PolyMet Mining, Inc. is committed to following the extensive regulatory process. BIOBY has every confidence that PolyMet and the MPCA followed the correct procedures to make decisions regarding the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

Although opposition groups will continue to look for discrepancies in an effort to delay the process, BIOBY trusts the courts will continue to rule in favor of Minnesota’s regulatory agencies, and in favor of responsible industrial projects.