Mining Near the BWCA

A recent email from Mining Truth had the following to say about the proposed mine. I’d like to know the truth.

For years, PolyMet has claimed their proposed sulfide mine could never pollute the Boundary Waters. But the U.S. Geological Survey, tribal scientists, independent experts, and a story in the Ely Timberjay have called PolyMet’s rosy predictions into question.

PolyMet’s plan is built on computer models that predict where polluted seepage would travel. However, computer models are only as reliable as the data going in – and the data used was not accurate.

PolyMet’s models use bad data and as a result make false assumptions. The model showed a computer simulation that actually makes water flow uphill, away from the Boundary Waters. These models also understate destruction of wetlands and polluted water flowing into the St. Louis River.

Ask Governor Dayton to require that independent scientists verify pollution predictions in the PolyMet plan.

To make matters worse, the computer models were run by Barr Engineering, a contractor paid by PolyMet. This conflict of interest could be forgiven if someone was checking their work – but they are not. No government agency working on this new mine has run the computer models used in the PolyMet study. This is clearly and legally unacceptable.

Governor Dayton says his decision on PolyMet is the “most momentous” decision he will make as Governor. But he can’t make that decision on behalf of Minnesotans without science that accurately predicts where PolyMet’s pollution would go.

Ask Governor Dayton to get accurate, independent data before making a decision that could contaminate Minnesota’s water for hundreds of years.


Paul Austin            
Conservation Minnesota

 Paul Danicic    
Friends of the Boundary
Waters Wilderness

Scott Strand        
Minnesota Center for
Environmental Advocacy

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