Hundreds attend PolyMet meetings
Two public meetings to gather comments on the PolyMet project were held in December. The first in Aurora which had over 800 people, and the second in Blaine with the majority of the 600 people in attendance in support of the nonferrous metal mine. Over 200 people from the Iron Range and Duluth rode chartered buses or drove themselves down to Blaine. They included dozens of building trades union members.
Held at the Schwann National Sports Center, people carrying signs were stopped at the door and not allowed to bring them into the building. A group of people was gathered in front of the building displaying signs in support of PolyMet.
Iron Range legislators Senator Dave Tomassoni, Senator Tom Bakk and Representative Tom Rukavina each spoke before the power point presentation on the purpose of the draft environmental impact statement.
“We have a unique opportunity to produce a new industrial model for our future,” said Bakk. “Right here in Minnesota.”
He said that value added products such as copper pipe and wire along with a distribution center could be built in northern Minnesota.
“This is something that has never been done anywhere in the world,” said Bakk. “If we care about reducing greenhouse gases and carbon, we need to support this project.”
Rukavina talked about the great opportunity for the Iron Range and for our state.
“We can mine these metals here or stand back as they are mined elsewhere in high-polluting countries,” said Rukavina. “47% of palladium and 19% of nickel is imported. These are the metals used in cell phones and computers.”
As Rukavina pointed his finger at the audience he said, “And it’s coming from a mine in Russia, the biggest polluter in the world. And you’re all contributing to that pollution.”
From the back of the room a young woman voiced her objections at not being able to give oral comments before she was led out of the room.
“I have questions. Why does he get a microphone? Let’s talk,” she said.
The two meetings were publicized in local newspaper as public meetings, not public forums for oral comments. Stenographers were available at both to take oral testimonies.
CWCS encourages its supporters and members to comment on the PolyMet draft EIS. You can submit your comments until February 3, 2010 via mail or e-mail: