ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic state lawmakers want Gov. Tim Walz to suspend permits for PolyMet's proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota to make sure they "were not rigged."

In a letter to Walz Wednesday, 18 lawmakers led by Sen. John Marty asked the governor to suspend the permits and direct the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to cooperate with inquiries into how state and federal regulators handled a key wastewater permit for PolyMet.

The open-pit mine, the state's first hard rock mine, is to be built near Babbitt on the Iron Range. The Star Tribune says PolyMet issued a statement saying the project "meets all state and federal environmental standards, which are the most stringent in the nation and in the world."

House Minority Leader, Republican Kurt Daudt, accuses Democrats of spreading false information in an effort to derail the project.