"MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed an appeals court’s rejection of a critical air emissions permit for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine and sent the case back for further proceedings.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was not required under federal law to investigate allegations by environmental groups and a Native American tribe of “sham permitting.”
PolyMet and the state agency took the case to the state’s highest court after the Minnesota Court of Appeals last March sent the air permit for the $1 billion mine back to the regulators for further review. The appeals court said the agency had not adequately evaluated whether the air permit understated the company’s real plans. That court took note of securities filings indicating that PolyMet was considering expanding the mine to four times the size that the air permit would allow, but that would require a new permitting process."