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Environmental Groups Object To Iron Range Loan

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(credit: AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Five Minnesota conservation groups are suing an economic-development agency in Eveleth over its $4 million loan to a mining company.

The loan was approved in December by Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board.

The money is intended to help PolyMet Mining acquire Forest Service land for a mine. Critics fear the mine would create sulfuric acid pollution.

Environmental groups say the board shouldn’t have agreed to lend the money while the project remains under review.

Minnesota Public Radio says the Environmental Protection Agency filed objections last year to a draft environmental-impact statement, prompting a review. The conservation groups say providing state money for a project under review violates the state’s Environmental Policy Act.

A message left Monday with the Iron Range board was not immediately returned.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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