Our presenters shared multiple perspectives for implementing the MOA, including:
- legal background;
- coordinating meeting the many requirements of the MOA with the Project schedule;
- complexity of engaging with Co-lead federal agencies, consulting agencies, and American Indian Tribes; and
- logistics of documenting a mining landscape historic district that spans over 23,000 acres across northeastern Minnesota.
Best practices presented in this session included how to develop sound research designs, thoughtful engagement approaches, and encourage dialogue and interaction among the project proposer, agencies, tribes, and the cultural resources consultant.
MOA Implementation for the NorthMet Mining Project Presentation
Jennifer is a senior project manager who currently manages the cultural and historical resources documentation for the NorthMet Mining Project MOA Implementation. Her detailed understanding of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106/Section 110 processes, as well as state-level compliance issues has provided her with extensive expertise to guide a wide range of projects from interstate pipelines to wind and solar to rail and transit. Jennifer has also facilitated consultation with agencies, American Indian Tribes, and community groups to bring resolution to potential project issues.
Dan is a partner at Warner Norcross + Judd, a full-service law firm with over 200 attorneys in Michigan. He concentrates his practice in the areas of mining and natural resource development, environmental litigation, NEPA and NHPA compliance, and administrative law, with a special focus on issues related to Native American tribes and cultural resources. Dan advises mining and natural resource development clients regarding tribal engagement and consultation, compliance with laws aimed at protecting tribal interests and resources, such as the NHPA, and other cultural resource issues that can arise in the course of permitting a development project.
Kevin Pylka is an environmental manager at PolyMet Mining, Inc., a mine development company preparing to mine copper, nickel and precious metals from the NorthMet ore body located near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. He has effectively led challenging projects in the areas of NEPA and NHPA review, along with federal and state permitting and a land exchange for the mine project. He has succeeded in collaborating with consultants, legal counsel, federal and state agencies, Native American tribes and other stakeholders to navigate through the myriad set of statutes and regulations and the public engagement necessary to permit a mine with modern, responsible and sustainable practices.