Senator

John Marty
State of Minnesota

State Capitol, St. Paul, MN 55155-1606 (651) 296-5645 jmarty@senate.mn
July 22, 2014

Lisa Fay, EIS Project Manager
MDNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources
Environmental Review Unit
500 Lafayette Rd Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155


Dear Ms. Fay,

As you sort through the thousands of comments on the SDEIS, here are a few more
that I ask you to consider:

1. The SDEIS discusses the need for treating the water at the mine site and the
processing facility for 200 years and 500 years, respectively, as if this is the likely
length for which water treatment will be required.

However, the modeling in the draft arbitrarily stops at 200 and 500 years, despite the
fact that those models show that the water will still require treatment at that point. The
models in the SDEIS need to be amended to project out to the point in time where the
water meets Minnesota's water quality standards, even if that is many hundreds of
years further into the future. The difference between 200 years and 2000 years
might seem to be an insignificant point to a business that may not be around in 50
years, but to the state, which would otherwise be forced to pick up the costs of
virtually perpetual water treatment, it is an important distinction.

2. The SDEIS needs to factor in failures in water treatment systems. Breakdowns in
pumps, power failures and other unforeseen problems are not hypothetical. Over a
period of hundreds of years, these failures will be a reality. Pumps and other
treatment infrastructure, even ones designed to last for thirty or more years, will break
down and wear out repeatedly, and there is a need for backup systems to deal with
these contingencies as they periodically occur. The current SDEIS does not address
this reality.

3. Financial Assurance must protect taxpayers; it must hold those who profit from the
mining project responsible for all clean-up costs. However, the project developers
have the resources to select the most creative lawyers and accountants who can
structure their investments in a manner that enable them to take the money out of the
project and leave the responsible party without resources to fund the remediation and
clean up for multiple centuries ahead.

Glencore Xstrata, the biggest investor in the Polymet project, is now headed by Tony
Hayward, who headed BP during the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which fought
hard to avoid paying the clean-up costs from that environmental catastrophe.
Because the project appears to be structured in a manner that will allow Glencore to
take the first profits out of the mine, and ultimately duck financial responsibility, the
state needs to hire the best financial and legal minds available before any financial
assurance package is approved.

The financial assurance details cannot be worked out in closed-door meetings at
some later date. The SDEIS is not adequate until it includes the details about how
much money will be required to pay for cleanup and in what form it would be held.
The public has a right to know and review what is all included in that number to
ensure that it is sufficient, bankruptcy-proof, and will be available long after those who
have profited from the project are gone.

Until each of these critical faults is addressed, the SDEIS is not adequate.


Sincerely,




John Marty

Chair, Senate Energy and Environment Committee