On Tuesday September 22, over 60 concerned citizens assembled outside the St. Louis County Board meeting in Duluth to call for the protection of the St. Louis River.
Speakers included citizens from Duluth, Cloquet, Fond du Lac, Ely, Tower, Ault, Pequaywan and other townships in St. Louis County. Citizens expressed grave concern about the proposed PolyMet mine and the risks of additional pollution to the St. Louis River and Lake Superior.
The St. Louis River was recently ranked one of the most endangered rivers in the nation by the national advocacy group American Rivers, because of the threat of pollution from proposed sulfide mining. Organizations that have worked to share information about this designation include the Sierra Club which was proud to have had several of its northern Minnesota members speak at the rally. The rally was organized by Minnesota Environmental Partnership and its 80 member organizations in cooperation with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Save Lake Superior, Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest and SOS Blue Waters, all based north of Lake Superior.
At the rally, citizens decried PolyMet for the threat it poses to the health and safety of the region and the waste reflected in again polluting a river that hundreds of millions of dollars and extensive effort have been spent to remove old pollution. Organizers called on the Saint Louis County Board of Commissioners to pass a resolution recognizing the St. Louis River as a Most Endangered River and Polymet as immediate threat to the river. Several of those at the rally also testified before the Commission. The assembled citizens asked that the proposed Polymet project be stopped.