Minnesota's Iron RangeUpdate: According to the Star Tribune, the Chamber of Commerce filed suit on Friday against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in hopes of speeding up the process of getting clarity on 1973 Sulfate standards.

 

Josephine Marcotty from the Star Tribune has published an excellent piece (she reported the story without apparent bias) about the conflict between environmentalists and the Chippewa tribes and the proposed Polymet mine near Hoyt Lakes: Mining Debate Flows Into Wild Rice Stands.

We need good reporters so we understand the facts, and we need good scientists who can sort out the facts from fiction and emotion. The question here is whether wild rice is affected by the sulfates (mineral salts) emitted by mining, and if so, how much is too much?

The credibility of science and scientists have taken a self-inflicted hit because of dubious global warming claims (which morphed into “climate change” when it became apparent that the globe was not warming as claimed). Like science, we need journalism to take itself seriously and to go with the facts, wherever they may lead.

After conducting an environmental review of the Polymet proposal, the Minnesota Pollution Control agency was criticised by the EPA for not enforcing its own 1973 sulfate standard; so the state is conducting a second review, perhaps because it never had confidence in the 1973 standard and perhaps because we really need the Polymet mine. The EPA, which has also taken a self-inflicted credibility hit, will have to sign off on the Polymet mine.

The Polymet copper-nickel mine is expected to create 400 jobs. The Chippewa are right to be concerned about protecting their own interests. Let’s hope the various players are able to reach an outcome based on good science and good economics that works for all concerned.