The DNR has opened a 30-day public comment period on draft water appropriation permits for the proposed Poly Met Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) NorthMet mining project. Minnesota law directs the DNR to manage water resources to provide for reasonable use while ensuring long-term sustainability and natural resource protection. The proposed NorthMet project would require six water appropriation permits for various construction and operation activities at the mine site and plant site. In addition to these six water appropriations permits, the project would also need six additional DNR permits, as well as several other state, federal and local permits and approvals in order to proceed.
The DNR recently completed its comprehensive review of the company’s six water appropriation permit applications and considered input from state, local and tribal governments. These applications were found to be consistent with rates and volumes evaluated and discussed in the NorthMet Environmental Impact Statement.
DNR is now seeking public review and input on draft permit language before making any permitting decisions.
DNR will accept written public comments on the draft water appropriation permits from August 11, 2017 until September 12, 2017. Commenters should include the words “NorthMet Water Appropriation” in the title of their comment emails and letters.
Written comments may be submitted by email to: NorthMetPermitting.DNR@state.mn.us
or by U.S. Mail to:
MN Department of Natural Resources
ATTN: PolyMet NorthMet Project
500 Lafayette Road N, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045
The current public comment opportunity concerns only the six draft water appropriation permits. DNR’s review of PolyMet’s other pending applications – dam safety, public waters work, and permit to mine – is ongoing.
PolyMet’s water appropriation permit applications along with DNR’s draft water appropriation permits and a fact sheet can be found below.
Draft permits listed below include Monitoring Plan, Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), and figures.
Fact Sheet - Draft Water Appropriation Permits Fact sheet (1 MB) »
Final Environmental Impact Statement: NorthMet Mining Project and Land Exchange (link to final document webpage) »
Plant Site Water Management Plan v5 (44 MB) »
Mine Site Water Management Plan v5 (41 MB) »
Mine Site Water Modeling Data Package Volume 1 v14 (178 MB) »
Mine Site Hydrologic Investigation Phase 1 RS-02 (5 MB) »
Mine Site Hydrologic Investigation Phase 2 RS-10 (4 MB) »
Hydrologic Investigation Phase 3 RS-10A (3 MB) »
Rock and Overburden Management Plan v8 (101 MB) »
Plant Site Water Modeling Data Package Volume 2 v11 (122 MB) »
Geotechnical Data Package Volume 1 – Flotation Tailings Basin v7 (121 MB) »
Ground Water Profile: Arrowhead Region (1 MB) »
Hydrogeology of Fractured Bedrock in the Vicinity of NorthMet v3 (8 MB) »
St. Louis River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (8 MB) »
Minnesota Comprehensive Water Management Plant Update 2010-2020 (1 MB) »
Source Water Assessment – City of Hoyt Lakes (1 MB) »
Babbitt Drinking Water Supply Management Area (3 MB) »
Source Water Assessment – City of Aurora (1 MB) »
Simple Analytical Equations for Estimating Ground Water Inflow to a Mine Pit – 2000 (1 MB) »
Underdrain Piping Calculations Technical Memorandum – 2013 (8 MB) »