ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State mining regulators says Minnesota laws are strong enough to protect future generations from bankruptcies and cleanup costs from copper mines proposed for the Iron Range.
A Minnesota House committee held the first legislative hearing Tuesday on a proposal by PolyMet Mining to build the state's first copper-nickel mine.
Officials say they are reviewing some 200 mines around the country that have agreements to ensure that environmental calamities, defaults and prolonged water treatment will be paid for by mine owners and operators, not taxpayers.
Jess Richards, director of lands and minerals for the Department of Natural Resources, says the rules "are robust and adequate to protect Minnesotans."
The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1iN2xX0 ) reports nearly two-dozen others were to testify, including representatives from American Indian tribes, environmental groups and the mining industry.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com