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RELEASE: Rep. Lislegard blasts Army Corps for revoking key Polymet permit

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it has revoked a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the NewRange Copper Nickel Company (formerly known as Polymet) NorthMet mine.

Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL – Aurora) issued the following statement:

“I’m stunned and furious at today’s ruling which completely blindsided us. In issuing this ruling, the Biden administration has ignored nearly two decades of positive movement by Polymet – jumping through every single hoop – to earn approval for the project based on science and the law. This administration has turned its back on us on the Iron Range to side with environmental activists who’ve demonstrated they couldn’t care less about where we source the materials needed to take on necessary new green energy initiatives, nor about our livelihoods in northern Minnesota.

“For me, making this project become reality goes well beyond politics. My grandfather helped build Erie Mining Company which became LTV Steel. I worked there up until its last day of operation. My grandfather, father, brother, and uncles worked there. Since that plant closed, I’ve devoted my heart, soul, and professional life to bringing new jobs to our region that can sustain families and our neighborhoods. As mayor, city council member, president of RAMS, board member of Jobs for Minnesota, as a state representative, and as a citizen of the Iron Range, I’ve done everything I could to get this project across the finish line. To see President Biden – who has done so much over his career to support American workers and American jobs – allow this permit to be revoked is a deep betrayal.

“The existing LTV site today is a brownfield. The state-of-the-art water treatment plant proposed by NewRange would clean that up and result in a net decrease of sulfate and mercury being released downstream. This project will help the environment, not impair it.

“I’m most disappointed for the people of the Iron Range, who have rallied around this proposal for years, and who deserve a future with good-paying jobs with strong local communities where they can raise their families. I’m thankful to everyone – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, union members, and business leaders – who has worked so hard to make this a reality.”