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To the Editor: Say yes to Polymet

It is important to me personally and I believe to all the people that live in northern Minnesota to help develop industries. People and the environment can co-exist together with industry as a means to support communities and families. I have seen industries develop new ways of controlling their impact on the environment, while supporting the communities they share space with.

“As an example of change,” I have seen city sanitary systems, the general public and industries take responsibility for their impacts on the environment in a responsible way when the impact became known.

I bring your attention to the ST. Louis River as an example of positive change. Before the 1970s, the strategy for dealing with waste materials was to dump them directly into the river. Everybody did this as a general practice.  The general public, cities and industries located along the ST. Louis River systems did

this because at the time it was considered a valid way to manage waste materials of every kind.  

Another example I can think of is how cities and counties dealt with their residential garbage. It was common to dump waste materials in an uncontrolled environment that just about any dip in the landscape would do.  That was a common practice.

Here we are today, awareness and knowledge have increased substantially across the states, industries and municipalities, the general public, and all of us have taken responsibly for what we do regarding our impacts to the environment.

We have a successful history of environmental stewardship and industrial development right here in the Wood City of the North. I bring Potlatch Corporation, now Sappi, into the limelight. While permitting the new expansion of the paper mill, Potlatch re-wrote the standards for that industry based on the available technology at the time in 1990. The point I am making, is that this industry was successful in achieving environmental stewardship, while supporting the community it does business in. People have the right to exist, to seek the American dream of home, family and self-sufficiency. I believe industry has met every challenge environmentally and in most cases exceeds standards that are law at the time. Industries have taken responsibility, by taking the appropriate actions for positive environmental stewardship.

I believe PolyMet will have a very positive impact in the communities it operates in. I believe PolyMet Mining will supply the United States of America with rare and very valuable precious metals.  I believe PolyMet Mining will do so more environmentally friendly than anywhere else in the world. I very much support PolyMet’s development of mining operations.

Roy Maki Jr


Editor’s note: Mr. Maki is an employee of Minnesota Power