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MPCA Commissioner to EPA: Wrong to Reverse Variance

Updated: 07/29/2014 4:41 PM
Created: 07/29/2014 4:35 PM WDIO.com

The commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking the EPA to “reconsider and reverse” its decision to disapprove a variance for the Mesabi Nugget facility.

The variance gives the facility a schedule to comply with limits on four pollutants in the discharge from water-filled pits left over from the years that LTV steel operated the facility near Hoyt Lakes.

The EPA had approved the variance in December 2012 but reversed that decision in a letter to the MPCA earlier this month. The agency cited the reason is because of the 9 year timeline given to the plant to meet state standards, but that the plant can reapply for the variance.

The MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine said they worked very hard for many months over the variance. In the letter, it said, “Our decision to grant the variance was based on sound science and careful reasoning, and we are fully prepared to defend it.”

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