MPCA says EPA was wrong in Mesabi Nugget variance decision

By KBJR News 1

July 29, 2014 Updated Jul 29, 2014 at 8:56 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is asking a federal agency to reverse a decision it made regarding a mine on the Iron Range.

The Commissioner of the MPCA has sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency saying the EPA was wrong to disapprove a water-quality variance for the Mesabi Nugget facility.

The EPA had approved the variance in 2012, but reversed its decision earlier this month.

The variance gave Mesabi Nugget 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.

The MPCA says it's fully prepared to defend its decision to grant the variance because it was based on science and careful reasoning.