The wilderness and environmental advocacy group Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness has a new concern about the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mining project in Northeastern Minnesota: carbon.
The group, which last week noted that some of the land proposed for the mine’s open pit operation had been recognized for its ecological importance, now says that the destruction of 1000 acres of peat bog for the project would release roughly 2.7 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere — a total equal to 2% of the state’s annual carbon emissions.
Peat bogs, because they contain carbon-rich vegetation which is unable to fully decay in the low-oxygen environment of the unique wetlands, are considered one of nature’s best carbon storage venues.
John Myers of the Duluth News-Tribune writes about the issue and talks to PolyMet HERE. The company responded that its impact on the bog is far less than the Friends’ claim.