The Minnesota DNR has informed federal agencies and Twin Metals Minnesota that, if and when the company submits a complete project proposal, the DNR will prepare an independent, state-only Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.
Twin Metals is expected to submit a proposal for a new mining operation in December 2019. This proposal will require the preparation of an EIS under both the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The credibility and transparency of the EIS process for the proposed Twin Metals project is critical to Minnesotans. DNR is committed to ensuring a thorough, scientific, and neutral review of the proposal, based on state law. We believe this will be best accomplished through separate EIS processes at the state and federal levels.
Upon submittal of a project proposal by Twin Metals, DNR will begin its review of the company’s documents to determine whether the submittal is complete. In addition to company-supplied information, DNR expects to have access to all previously prepared federal environmental review data related to the Twin Metals project and/or the previously proposed federal mineral withdrawal within the Superior National Forest.
DNR will continue to work cooperatively with the federal agencies, to the fullest extent possible, to reduce duplication and to coordinate our review of the project on matters such as data submittals, analytical approaches, and public participation. We will also seek to coordinate closely with federal agencies as we undertake Minnesota’s consultations with tribal governments. Though the MEPA and NEPA EIS processes will be separate, coordination between state and federal agencies will benefit all interested parties.
Following receipt of a project proposal from Twin Metals, DNR will provide additional information regarding the environmental review process, including public participation opportunities, and how interested parties can stay informed on developments related to DNR’s review.