Dr. Pangloss lectures students (newsroom.unl.edu).
by Steve Timmer
Mar 14, 2014, 2:30 PM

Dr. Pangloss goes to work for PolyMet

And he’s been lecturing the media

According to some media reports, the PolyMet SEIS prepared and released (at the end of last year), four years after the first one flunked, gets a passing grade!

After four years and $22 million, PolyMet Mining Corporation’s proposed copper mine in northeastern Minnesota cleared a major hurdle Thursday, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave plans for the controversial project a passing grade.

But, no, it didn’t.

The federal agency rated the original 2009 document as “environmentally unsatisfactory — inadequate,” or “EU-3,” the lowest possible grade. On Thursday the EPA gave the update released in December a substantially better rating of “environmental concerns — insufficient information,” or “EC-2.” That’s just one notch below the best rating it realistically had a chance of getting, according to state and company officials.

But what’s an EC-2, really?

According to the EPA, which we may take as the authority over say, PolyMet or even spokesters for the DNR here, means “environmental concerns – incomplete.”

Here’s the “EC”:

epa ec

And here’s the “2:”

epa 2

Only in a green-sky world is this a “passing grade.” Or the world of Voltaire’s Dr. Pangloss. Candide, indeed.

The continuing concerns of the EPA, which you can read in its letter at the link above, include water and the clean up thereof. So there is really nothing new under the sun here.

I will write more about those concerns in coming days, but I wanted to be sure that the pro-mining forces didn’t take the news stories as a reason to get roaring drunk this weekend.

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