In Response: Financial assurance laws protect taxpayers, allow progress
At the heart of its assertions was that PolyMet’s new copper-nickel mine, planned for the Iron Range, will be unable to fulfill its financial obligations to close and reclaim the mine or to handle unanticipated environmental events such as spills or leaks.
Opponents have clung to these false talking points despite knowing what Minnesota law requires: that bankruptcy-proof financial assurance must be in place before a project can get a permit to mine.
No financial assurance?
It’s that simple.
PolyMet’s estimates for closure, reclamation, and financial assurance are spelled out in detail in its 20,000-page permit application that currently is under review by the state.
Importantly, that 10-year review concluded that the project could meet all applicable state and federal environmental standards.
Reyer’s commentary cited findings and estimates found in a report by an "independent" mining consultant as a basis for sky-is-falling assertions.
Again, it’s also the law.
But mining opponents like Reyer and her group continue to point to issues and costs associated with historical mining sites — those operating long before today’s environmental regulations and financial assurance regulations took root — as reasons to obstruct the development of new mines.
There is no reason to believe Minnesota will be any different.