Agency launches website with project information
The Department of Natural Resources has received a project proposal from Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) for a new mining project in Lake County in northeastern Minnesota. TMM’s proposed project would involve construction of an underground mining operation, processing facility, and dry stack tailings facility. Per the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act, the TMM proposal requires preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS), with the DNR as the designated responsible governmental unit.
“The credibility of the EIS process for the Twin Metals proposal is critical to Minnesotans,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “The DNR is committed to a rigorous, transparent, and neutral review of the proposal, based on science and applicable state law.”
In the near term, the DNR will review TMM’s submittal to assess whether the basic information is present to begin the more detailed work of scoping, which is the first phase of the EIS process. The purpose of scoping is to identify the potentially significant environmental and socioeconomic issues requiring detailed analysis, alternatives to be evaluated, and potential mitigation options. Scoping helps the agency focus the environmental review on the most important issues, but also helps define alternatives and additional data needs. This phase also includes an important public comment opportunity prior to any final decision on the EIS scope.
To help ensure transparency and access to information, the DNR has launched a website to provide the public with easy access to information and documents associated with the review of TMM’s proposed mining project. The website will provide basic information about the project, EIS status updates and documents, fact sheets to help explain the process and summarize complex issues, and proposer-developed data and studies.
Separate from the environmental review process, the TMM project would need permits from several state, federal, and local governments to proceed to construction and operation. No permit applications have been received at this point and no state or local permits/approvals can be granted until the EIS is complete.
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