The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St Paul District, completed its Record of Decision and issued an individual permit to PolyMet Mining, Inc., for its NorthMet project March 21, 2019. The permit authorizes the discharge of dredged and fill material into 901 acres, and indirect impacts to 27 acres, of waters of the United States in association with the construction and development of the NorthMet mine, which is located in St Louis County, Minnesota.
The Corps' evaluation of the project was for construction-related impacts to wetlands, specifically the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S.
The applicant purchased 1,278 credits from the Lake Superior Wetland Bank to offset wetland loss.
The Corps, and its co-lead agencies, U.S. Forest Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, worked to ensure the project complies with all applicable laws. The agency is confident in its decision, having identified an appropriately balanced alternative and proffered a permit that will allow access to an important mineral resource while maximizing protection to natural resources including wetlands.