ST. PAUL, MINN. (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has signed off on three important permits sought by the developers of the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.
The agency Thursday announced its approval of the air and water quality permits for the project and a certification of the company's plan to mitigate the mine's impact on wetlands.
The approvals follow a decision by the Department of Natural Resources last month to grant PolyMet the key permit for the project, a permit to mine, and other major permits.
PolyMet would be the state's first copper-nickel mine. Critics of the open-pit mine near Babbitt cite the risks of acid mine drainage and dispute the safety of its tailings basin.
Supporters say the mine can operate without harming the environment while providing hundreds of jobs.