DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr (mn.gov).
by Steve Timmer
Jul 26, 2013, 4:30 PM

The Commish mines him some bulls**t

Along with the sulfides

In a story published about his July 25th interview with the Mesabi Daily News, the paper reported:

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday at the Mesabi Daily News, the head of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources [Tom Landwehr] talked about issues ranging from mineral leasing delays to bear researcher Lynn Rogers. He was visiting several places on the Range and was giving a number of interviews as well.

One topic was on PolyMet.

Critics of non-ferrous mining point to what they say are dangers of sulfides getting in to watersheds, Landwehr explained.

His answer was quick. “We don’t mine sulfides,” he said. “We mine minerals.” [emphasis added]

There can be dangers of sulfides from treatment of waste rock in mining, if done poorly. But that can be done well, also, he said.

The environmental impact statement for PolyMet, which began in 2004, “was not well defined” by the company by 2009, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criticized the work, Landwehr said.

Landwehr’s identification with an industry he’s supposed to be regulating is touching. And his comment could have been written by Polymet’s PR flacks; perhaps it was. What he really should have said was this:

Polymet keeps the minerals — one percent or less, and leaves the rest — the ninety-nine percent sulfide rock — to us to worry about. Forever.

The barbarians are not only at the gate, kids, they’re inside the courtyard. Somebody let them in.

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