ELY, Minn. (AP) -- A Minnesota appellate court has affirmed that a wilderness advocacy group has standing to challenge state rules on copper mine sites.

The Minnesota Appeals Court's ruling Monday means that Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness' lawsuit can continue. The group filed the action in June 2020 arguing the 29-year-old siting rules should prohibit copper mining along waters that flow directly into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

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The group fears run-off from a proposed Twin Metals Minnesota copper-nickel mine in the Rainy River Headwaters would flow into the Boundary Waters. Twin Metals Minnesota moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the wilderness group hasn't shown any injury.

Appellate Judge Michael Kirk ruled Monday that state environmental law grants broad standing.

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