Stop The PolyMet Land Exchange Bill - H.R. 3115

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PolyMet Land Exchange Bill H.R. 3115 introduced by Rep. Rick Nolan to fast track destructive sulfide mine in Minnesota's protected Superior National Forest!


Protect Minnesota’s Land, Water, Wildlife and People - Stop the Bad PolyMet Bill!

PolyMet Land Exchange Area

USFS Superior National Forest, MN - proposed land exchange area, Partridge River

PolyMet Land Exchange Bill H.R. 3115 introduced by Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.)

H.R. 3115 - Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017

Found at:


Destructive PolyMet Mine Would Pollute Water, Destroy Wetlands and Forests, Harm Wildlife

Rep. Nolan’s PolyMet bill is a giveaway of public lands, tax payer rip-off, and a huge windfall for the foreign mining corporations PolyMet & Glencore.

H.R. 3115 would mandate the exchange of 6,650 acres of protected Superior National Forest land that would be handed over to PolyMet Mining for their open-pit copper-nickel sulfide mine, the deal must be completed within 90 days of the bill becoming law. The bill would pave the way for PolyMet’s controversial and risky open pit sulfide mine. The PolyMet mine would destroy thousands of acres of high-quality wetlands and forests, leaving long-term toxic water pollution in the Great Lakes, and destroy critical habitat for the threatened Canada lynx and gray wolf.

The federal lands are located on the headwaters of Lake Superior, upstream of the St. Louis River, the largest U.S. tributary to Lake Superior, and upstream of the Fond du Lac Reservation and the city of Duluth, Minnesota.

Nolan’s terrible "special favors" bill for PolyMet mining corporation, fast tracks an exchange of public lands in an attempt to facilitate the first copper-nickel sulfide mine in Minnesota.

The PolyMet bill sets a terrible example for how destructive, risky and environmentally damaging projects are dealt with by our politicians. The PolyMet bill is a flagrant end run around current laws, in order to hand over protected Superior National Forest land to a foreign mining corporation.


Undermining Citizens Due Process Rights and Environmental Protections

H.R. 3115: Special Interests Win, Environment Loses with Nolan’s PolyMet Bill

The politicians pushing sulfide mining will be long gone, but the toxic legacy of sulfide mining will be left for others to deal with long into the future.

Political pandering for a toxic mining industry, over the interest of its citizens, is why the American people have so little trust in our government and political leaders.

Rep. Nolan’s bill would negate environmental watershed protections that date back to 1911 (Weeks Act of 1911), while totally ignoring pollution impacts and costs for the generations to follow.

While constantly claiming that we need to let the process proceed, Nolan seeks to override the process—because PolyMet’s mine is too polluting and destructive to stand on its own.  Evidently the only way that PolyMet can get approved is through special legislative intervention by politicians, bypassing legitimate citizen rights and concerns.

Rep. Nolan’s bill is a scheme to get around existing law, which prohibits PolyMet's open-pit copper mine in the Superior National Forest, and force through the land exchange, which is being challenged in court.

If passed, the bill would set a dangerous precedent for how controversial and unpopular projects are dealt with by Washington D.C. politicians, passing special interests bills for industry that overturn current laws and protections.



MN - 8th CD Representative Rick Nolan (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Stop Rep. Nolin's Toxic PolyMet Land Exchange Bill!

-- The Poisoning Of Our Waters Is Simply Not Acceptable --


Protect Minnesota's Arrowhead Region from "highly toxic sulfide waste"

The Arrowhead Region of Minnesota contains the triple watersheds, where waters flow north, east, and south, into the Rainy River, Lake Superior, and the Mississippi.  The headwaters of this region are too valuable to put at risk from toxic sulfide mining schemes.

The public lands that PolyMet wants for their open pit sulfide mine are protected under the Weeks Act of 1911, the purpose of the Weeks Act was to acquire lands for the protection of headwaters rivers and watersheds. The Partridge River runs through the federal lands, and will be severely degraded by the mining activities if the lands are traded away for PolyMet’s destructive sulfide mine. The PolyMet mine would destroy nearly 1,000 acres of irreplaceable pristine wetlands. Of what value is protecting waterways and headwaters areas, if that land is to be traded away for destruction at the request of a mining corporation?


Environmental Injustice for those Downstream

The potential to pollute and poison the St. Louis River watershed is an issue of great tragedy. The largest human population in northeast Minnesota lives downstream of the proposed PolyMet mine. This includes the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation, as well as the cities of Cloquet and Duluth (and Superior, Wisconsin).

Of great concern is the giving away of public lands, turning them over to foreign mining corporations. When Governor Dayton denied Twin Metals state leases for their proposed sulfide mine near Ely and the Boundary Waters, Dayton said that "this type of mining creates highly toxic sulfide waste". It seems ironic that we would seek to prevent highly toxic sulfide waste from entering a watershed that flows into Canada, while simultaneously allowing a Canadian mining company to pollute the headwaters of Lake Superior and the Great Lakes system.


Act Now! Please call your Senators and Representative and ask them to oppose H.R. 3115!

Rep. Nolan's bill would bypass our courts, subvert the public process, and deny impacted citizens the right to challenge risky, destructive and controversial projects. This terrible industry bill is an example of why so many American people distrust our government and our politicians.

Contact information for Minnesota's U.S. Representatives and Senators:

Please Call:

Senator Amy Klobuchar: 202-224-3244
Senator Al Franken:  202-224-5641
Representative Tim Walz: 202-225-2472
Representative Betty McCollum: 202-225-6631
Representative Keith Ellison: 202-225-4755
Representative Eric Paulsen: 202-225-2871

Look up contact information here:


Contact Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and let him know that you oppose PolyMet's sulfide mine. All of Minnesota's waters deserve protection from highly toxic sulfide mining, including the Lake Superior, Mississippi and Rainy River watersheds:

Governor Mark Dayton
Telephone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717



Additional Info and Links on H.R. 3115:

H.R. 3115 - Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017, Found at:

Coalition sign-on letter in opposition to H.R. 3115:

Center For Biological Diversity (CBD) PR:

Minnesota Center For Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) PR:

Duluth News Tribune – “Bill pushing PolyMet land swap gets hearing Friday”:

Minneapolis Star Tribune – “U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan tries to balance mining support with climate change opposition”:


Action Alerts on H.R. 3115:

The Center for Biological Diversity -Take Action on PolyMet Bill HERE

Sierra Club North Star Chapter - Take Action on PolyMet Bill HERE


What is sulfide mining?

Sulfide ores contain heavy metals (such as copper or nickel) that are bonded to sulfur, forming sulfide minerals.
When exposed to air and moisture, a chemical reaction generates sulfuric acid that can leach into the surrounding environment and cause the release of the metals into streams and lakes at levels that are toxic to fish and other aquatic life.
This phenomenon is known as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD).


Gold King Mine Disaster

Gold King Mine spill

Photo Credit Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald

Gold King Mine Disaster

The 2015 Gold King Mine waste spill was an environmental disaster that began at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.

The accident released toxic mining waste water into the Animas River watershed.




Mount Polley Mine Disaster

Mount Polley

The Mount Polley tailings basin collapse in Canada is one of B.C.’s worst mining disasters, spilling more than 20 million cubic metres of toxic water and mine waste slurry into Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake.

News and Information on the Mount Polley Mine Disaster found at DeSmog Canada:






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