Stauber Introduces First Bill to Bring Good Paying Jobs Back to Northeast Minnesota
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) introduced H.R. 527, the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2019. This bipartisan legislation provides legal certainty by codifying the land exchange between PolyMet Mining, Inc. and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) into statute. The legislation will move PolyMet one step closer to responsibly developing the NorthMet ore body located in northeastern Minnesota. This is Stauber’s first bill introduced as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Minnesota is blessed with an abundance of natural resources that puts us in a unique position to not just ensure that the United States remains competitive on a global level, but also to create good paying jobs for hardworking folks here at home,” said Stauber. “Like all Minnesotans, I treasure our state’s natural beauty. With 21st century technology, responsible mining and preserving the environment are not mutually exclusive. We can and must do both, and I am proud that my first piece of legislation will help unleash the economic engine in our state.”
H.R. 527 would codify the exchange of approximately 6,650 acres of federally-owned surface land above and around the NorthMet ore body to PolyMet and 6,690 acres of private land to the USFS. The land intended for the USFS is of higher appraised value and would give visitors of the Superior National Forest increased access to trails and recreation.
PolyMet still requires one major permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before moving forward with the NorthMet project.
PolyMet’s proposed project relies on surface access to the NorthMet ore body to ensure that the mining of any copper, nickel, or other precious metals is done under the highest standards of environmental protection.
Due to the complex legal issues surrounding this project, PolyMet and the Obama Administration’s Forest Service agreed on a land exchange that was approved after a full National Environmental Policy Act review.