PolyMet and Teck join forces for copper-nickel mining
A new venture between PolyMet Mining and minerals giant Teck Resources creates a significant prospect for the development of copper-nickel mining on Minnesota's Iron Range. Named NewRange Copper Nickel, the joint venture is focused outside of the Rainy River watershed, the basi...
Facing up to the wild rice sulfate problem
December 31, 2021: For a problem to be solved, it must first be named. Given that fact, 2021 marked progress for Minnesota's wild rice waters, many of which are tainted by sulfates. After a nudge from the federal EPA last March, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency started in...
Setback for possible copper-nickel mining on the Iron Range
October 21, 2021: In addition to iron and taconite, Northern Minnesota has deposits of copper, nickel, and other minerals in high demand. One such deposit is in the watershed bordering on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. At t...
U.S. Steel’s legal losses may prompt a sulfate cleanup
June 30, 2021: U.S. Steel is running out of legal options to avoid regulation of the sulfate pollution discharged at its Minntac facility in Mountain Iron, Minnesota. U.S. Steel's latest legal loss may mark the end of its attempt to block the state's Pollution Control Agency...
EPA acts to protect Minnesota’s wild rice waters
April 14, 2021: “Biden's Environmental Protection Agency is emerging as a powerful ally in the years-long fight to get Minnesota to protect wild rice beds from sulfate pollution,” Stephanie Hemphill reported in Minnpost April 13, 2021. “Minnesota tribal and environmental groups...
More Minnesota wild rice waters designated “impaired” by EPA
March 30, 2021: In its latest review of Minnesota’s polluted waters (March 2021), the Environmental Protection Agency dictated that numerous sulfate-tainted lakes, rivers, and streams be added to the state’s “Impaired Waters” list. These waters do not meet the state’s...
EPA letter holds MPCA accountable to water quality standards
March 26, 2021: In a letter dated March 26, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency required the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to include sulfate-laden water bodies on its Impaired Waters list, citing “Minnesota’s federally-approved 10 mg/L standard” for wild rice areas. ...
Minnesota tribes pressure governor to clean up mining pollution
January 20, 2021: Tribal nations from across Minnesota are accusing state regulators of bad faith over their continuing failure to address pollution concerns, many stemming from lax regulation of the Iron Range’s taconite industry. Read the article online or as a PDF.