With the public comment period for the PolyMet project environmental review now open, we want to offer some tips on writing effective comments to support copper-nickel mining in Minnesota. The 90-day comment period, twice the time period called for by law, runs through March 13, 2014.
There are three ways to submit a comment:
1. Email a comment. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.
2. Mail a written comment:
Lisa Fay | EIS Project Manager MDNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources | Environmental Review Unit 500 Lafayette Road, Box 25 | St. Paul, MN 55155
3. Comment in person at a public hearing.
Tips on writing effective comments
1. Comment early. Commenting early shows your confidence in the project. It also gives the agencies involved more breathing room to evaluate your comment and respond as appropriate.
2. Be clear and specific. While we appreciate endorsements, this is not a public vote. Simply stating you support the project will not help the agencies decide whether to issue PolyMet Mining permits. You will have the most impact if you focus on specific reasons you support the project and the environmental review process based on your understanding of the supplemental draft Environmental Impact Statement. Some examples are provided below.
3. Be polite and respectful. Remember that comment reviewers are public servants and deserve to be treated with courtesy and professionalism.
8 comment ideas
The following ideas are intended to serve as a basis or inspiration for you to create your own comment:
- The supplemental draft Environmental Impact Statement is a detailed, independent review of the PolyMet project. Federal, state and tribal agencies shaped the development of the SDEIS, which was written by an independent, third party.
- I am confident that the lengthy, thorough environmental review process has addressed potential environmental impacts and how to mitigate them.
- I am confident that the SDEIS gives regulators the information they need to issue PolyMet Mining permits to operate while protecting natural resources.
- The PolyMet project has been designed to minimize environmental impacts. It reuses an existing site and existing infrastructure, minimizes the disturbance of wetlands, and utilizes multiple safeguards to protect the environment.
- PolyMet’s planned mine layout minimizes impacts to wetlands, and its reclamation and mitigation plans will replace the wetlands that are lost due to mining. In fact, PolyMet will restore and protect more wetlands than it impacts.
- PolyMet will control and manage stockpile water with proven technology, including foundation liners, water collection systems and cover systems.
- PolyMet will have dramatic, positive socioeconomic impacts to a region that has been built on mining. This project is located in an area that supports mining and the jobs it will bring.
- The land exchange with the U.S. Forest Service will open up new public recreational opportunities for all Minnesotans.