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“Prove it First” bill could impact copper-nickel mining in Minnesota

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ST. PAUL, MN -- Lawmakers and anti-copper nickel mining groups are introducing legislation that could deal a big blow to projects like PolyMet.

Called "Prove it First", the bill has the support of Duluth's state Senator Jen McEwen.

It would require scientific proof that a similar mine has operated somewhere else in the United States for at least 10 years, and has been closed for another 10 years without causing pollution.

PolyMet is currently moving forward with a copper-nickel mine in the Hoyt Lakes area.

They are fully permitted, but some are being challenged in the courts.

This bill is based on a similar law that was passed in Wisconsin.

"We're not willing to serve as a test case for a bunch of super, super-wealthy billionaire corporations coming into our area to do these experimental projects that put our economy at risk, that put our public health at risk, and that put our whole region in danger," said Sen. Jen Mcewen (DFL) - Duluth.

The bill will officially be introduced Thursday.

Meanwhile. Minnesota Mining, a pro-copper nickel mining group, said safe mining has already been proven.

In a statement, they said Minnesota has a comprehensive, science-based, environmental review and permitting process.

They added this legislation claims the professionals and state agencies were wrong in issuing the permits.

Reporter Anthony Matt

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