REPLAY: A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Tuesday from environmental activists, mining advocates and other stakeholders on the controversial copper-nickel mining proposal for northern Minnesota that is being advanced by PolyMet Mining Corporation.
The hearing, which lasted several hours, began at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee chaired by State Rep. Jean Wagenius, (DFL-Minneapolis).
Among the witnesses giving testimony to the committee were representatives of The Friends of The Boundary Waters, The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, The Sierra Club and mining supporters from the construction industry, labor and mining groups. Representatives of PolyMet, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa also were at the meeting.
The focus of the meeting was the issue of “financial assurance” — the question of whether the mining proposal has adequate financial safeguards in place to cover the costs of any environmental damage that might result from the mining project. The questions that were up for discussion are posted here.