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Lawsuits against exploitative PolyMet land deal

by Dan Burns on March 30, 2017

sulfideFrom this week.

The Campaign to Defend Lake Superior, represented by Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), joined the Center for Biological Diversity and the W.J. McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League in a lawsuit filed in federal court today. The suit asks the court to overturn the U.S. Forest Service decision to approve the largest land exchange in its history, planned with PolyMet Mining. The land exchange would give PolyMet thousands of acres of critically important wetlands in Superior National Forest, where mining operations would forever destroy the wetlands that form the headwaters of the St. Louis River…
Federal law requires appraisals to reflect the “highest and best use” of public land when determining fair market value. The failure to do so has caused the public to receive less land in exchange and will result in taxpayers being forced to pay PolyMet $425,000 in cash unless the decision is overturned.
(Campaign to Defend Lake Superior)

From early February. The two actions may be consolidated as they make their way through the courts.

WaterLegacy, a Minnesota nonprofit founded to protect the state’s wetlands and wildlife from sulfide mining, filed a complaint (in late January) claiming that the Forest Service violated federal land management laws by selling parts of the forest for way less than what they’re worth.
The Forest Service’s final agreement with PolyMet valued the federal lands at $550 an acre. That is based on a consultant’s study of five Wisconsin and Michigan properties that were sold for timber — not copper-nickel mining.
(City Pages)

I of course wish the plaintiffs very, very well, in every way. Actually, that goes for all of us, since we all have a stake in not seeing northern Minnesota’s land and water poisoned.

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