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Stauber introduces first piece of legislation in support of PolyMet mining

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber

Rep. Pete Stauber Monday introduced H.R. 527, the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2019.

This bipartisan legislation provides legal certainty by codifying the land exchange between PolyMet Mining Inc. and the U.S. Forest Service into statute. The legislation will move PolyMet one step closer to responsibly developing the NorthMet ore body in northeastern Minnesota. This is Stauber's first bill introduced as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Minnesota is blessed with an abundance of natural resources that puts us in a unique position to not just ensure that the United States remains competitive on a global level, but also to create good-paying jobs for hardworking folks here at home," Stauber said in a news release. "Like all Minnesotans, I treasure our state's natural beauty. With 21st century technology, responsible mining and preserving the environment are not mutually exclusive. We can and must do both, and I am proud that my first piece of legislation will help unleash the economic engine in our state."

H.R. 527 would codify the exchange of about 6,650 acres of federally-owned surface land above and around the NorthMet ore body to PolyMet and 6,690 acres of private land to the U.S. Forest Service. The land intended for the U.S. Forest Service is of higher appraised value and would give visitors of the Superior National Forest increased access to trails and recreation.

PolyMet still requires one major permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before moving forward with the NorthMet project.