water legacy

News: Health Professionals Say SDEIS Is Inadequate

Mar 3 2014: Health professionals in the Duluth area are submitting a letter to the DNR regarding the PolyMet SDEIS before the comment period deadline on the 13th. The letter is in regards to health risks associated with the copper-nickel nonferrous mining currently being proposed in Minnesota.

It opens:

We are concerned that the proposed PolyMet NorthMet copper-nickel mine project could have significant adverse impacts on human health as a result of pollutants released to air, surface water and drinking water. We also believe that the PolyMet NorthMet Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“PolyMet SDEIS”) fails to adequately assess important risks to human health from the pollutants that would be released from this project. The absence of any professionals from the Minnesota Department of Health from the List of Preparers of the PolyMet SDEIS is particularly troubling.

We respectfully request that the PolyMet SDEIS be deemed inadequate due to unresolved concerns and insufficient assessment of health risks of the proposal. We would further request that, in revising the PolyMet SDEIS, a comprehensive Health Risk Assessment be prepared under the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health. In this letter, we summarize some issues and concerns leading to these requests.

There look to be at least 30 signatories at the time of this writing, with coordination assistance provided by Minnesota-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Water Legacy. Perhaps the effort will be expanded to all of Saint Louis County and the Arrowhead, as well as the rest of Minnesota, which would be a welcome development. If you’re interested in more information, or are a health professional looking to be involved, contact Allen@waterlegacy.org.