A Ramsey County District Court judge found the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) did not engage in any procedural irregularities in connection with the processing of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project, according to Poly Met Mining Inc., a subsidiary of PolyMet Mining Corp.
In his decision, Judge John H. Guthmann rejected the allegations that the MPCA engaged in a systematic effort to keep evidence out of the administrative record. “Guthmann found no evidence that the MPCA attempted to suppress the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comments.”

The court found that MPCA’s effort to reach an agreement with the EPA to delay making written comments on a draft NorthMet NPDES permit until sometime after the public notice period did not constitute a procedural irregularity. The court concluded the MPCA exceeded the requirements of the Memorandum of Agreement between the EPA and MPCA.

The district court’s conclusion that no procedural irregularities occurred in the processing of PolyMet’s permit will be incorporated into the broader challenge to that permit currently pending before the court of appeals, according to PolyMet.