The Columbus Dispatch

Appeals court says group can sue over mining rules

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A Minnesota appellate court affirmed Monday that a wilderness advocacy has standing to challenge state rules restrictin­g copper mining sites.

The ruling means that Northeaste­rn Minnesotan­s for Wilderness’ efforts to block a proposed copper mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Minnesota’s 29-year-old nonferrous mining siting rules prohibit mines in the Boundary Waters but allow them along waters that flow into the popular outdoors getaway. The wilderness group filed a lawsuit in June 2020 arguing the rules should be amended to prohibit mining along waters that flow into the area as well.

Twin Metals Minnesota asked a lower court judge to dismiss the case on grounds that the wilderness group hasn’t shown that the mine would harm it and therefore lacks legal standing to sue. That judge refused the request and directed the state Department of Natural Resources to begin reviewing the rules.

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