Campaign Updates

Important update on our lawsuit to protect the Boundary Waters

Jun 1, 2023
Ingrid Lyons, Executive Director
Boundary Waters Lawsuit Update - text with gavel over picture of the Boundary Waters

We wanted to share an important update about our groundbreaking state lawsuit that we brought three years ago: In June 2020, we challenged Minnesota’s rules governing copper mining, arguing that outdated Minnesota mining rules are inadequate to protect the Boundary Waters and its headwaters from sulfide-ore copper mining.

Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) responded.

The DNR determined that their rules are inadequate to protect the Boundary Waters from the toxic noise and light pollution inherent to sulfide-ore copper mining. The agency says it will propose new rules to expand the state buffer protective zone around the Wilderness, also known as the Mineral Management Corridor.

While we are encouraged that the DNR recognizes that the existing rules are not adequate to protect the Boundary Waters, we have concerns about the scope of the review as the DNR has laid it out.

As this process continues, we will work to ensure that the DNR addresses all of the risks to all of our priceless natural resources at risk from pollution, impairment, and destruction from sulfide-ore copper mining in the Boundary Waters watershed. Toxic sulfide-ore copper mining always pollutes water. 100% of sulfide-ore copper mines have resulted in surface or groundwater pollution.

This has already been a long process, and you’ve been a critical part of it - In 2021, in just 30 days, thousands of you submitted comments to the DNR urging them to review the old mining rules and protect the Wilderness.

Read more about the decision in the media:


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