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EPA Rejects Variance for Mesabi Nugget Iron Plant

Updated: 07/03/2014 6:32 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 6:31 PM WDIO.com

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The federal Environmental Protection Agency has reversed itself and rejected a water quality variance for the Mesabi Nugget iron processing plant near Hoyt Lakes.

Environmentalists and Chippewa bands had challenged the EPA's 2012 decision to grant the variance. They said it improperly allowed the plant to exceed state standards for pollutant discharges.

In a notice filed in federal court, the EPA says its regional director signed a letter Wednesday disapproving the variance. While the EPA had agreed in March to reverse the variance, the filings made it official.

Paula Maccabee, an attorney for WaterLegacy, says the significance of the EPA's decision is that if a company or the state says it's not feasible to comply with water quality standards, it's not enough to say so, they must provide the evidence.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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