The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment worksheet for a project to bring water from Lake Superior to Lutsen Mountain and other customers.
The project was necessitated by Lutsen Mountain Corporation’s need for a new water source to make snow and irrigate its golf course. Lutsen Mountain had used water from the Poplar River for those purposes since the mid-1960s, but had a history of drawing more water than originally permitted for. Over three million dollars was appropriated in this spring’s bonding bill for the pipeline project, which is expected to cost $4.8 million in total.
Plans call for a four-foot wide intake pipe to extend 150-feet into Lake Superior to draw “raw” water from the lake to be used to irrigate the Lutsen Mountain golf course, provide water for Lutsen Mountain’s snow-making operation in winter, and to fill fire-fighting tanker trucks. Nearly two-and-a-half miles of pipeline will carry the water to its final destinations.
Construction of the system is expected to take more than a year, with the bulk of activity taking place next summer.
Public comments will be accepted during the 30-day public review period, which runs through July 11. Written comments must be submitted to: Randall Doneen, EAW project manager, DNR Ecological Resources Division, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.
Electronic or email comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Poplar River Water District EAW” in the subject line. Written comments may also be sent by fax to 651-297-1500.