Bill includes funding for Canisteo Pit outflow project

Updated: March 25, 2021 06:13 PM
Created: March 25, 2021 12:35 PM

The problem of rising water in the Canisteo Pit is back at the legislature. Rep. Julie Sandstede, of Hibbing, has introduced a bill to fund an outflow project.

"It's been kicked down the road for quite some time. It can't be kicked any longer, it needs to be addressed," she said. 

The bill would provide $5.5 million dollars for the project, and would cover the construction and any lease agreements needed. The DNR has hired a consultant who is finalizing engineering and design. "It's about a forty year plan. And hopefully by that time, we'll have a better idea about how that property could be used," Sandstede said.

Back in 2011, the DNR put in a drain tile in Bovey, to help relieve the wet basement problem.

Then, according to the DNR, Magnetation was pumping water out of the Canisteo for their operations. But they went bankrupt, and stopped pumping. Their successor, ERP Iron Ore, started pumping, and then stopped when they went bankrupt as well.

Mining in the Canisteo began in 1907, and continued through to 1980, according to the DNR. 

The agency continues to monitor the levels and says the water could overflow in 2023-2024.

"Playing a game with Mother Nature, and hoping the rains don't come as much as we anticipate, is really risky. And I'm not comfortable taking those risks," Sandstede added.

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