ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s Department of Health is weighing a request to do a public health impact analysis on the proposed copper-nickel PolyMet Mining Corp. project on the Iron Range.

Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he intends to meet with the agency commissioner this week to determine next steps, including parameters for a potential study.

Dayton, who has remained neutral on PolyMet to date, says a health study could be done concurrently with other environmental permitting decisions so it wouldn’t delay the project’s timetable. He says a finding of adverse impacts could factor into a decision about whether to let PolyMet proceed.

Earlier this month, the Department of Natural Resources completed a voluminous environmental impact statement. A public comment period is underway and permitting consideration could begin early next year.

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