DNR Says No Environmental Impact Statement Needed for Minntac Expansion

By KBJR News 1

DNR Says No Environmental Impact Statement Needed for Minntac Expansion

April 11, 2013 Updated Apr 11, 2013 at 4:08 PM CDT

Mountain Iron, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that an environmental impact statement will not be required for a proposed extension at the Minntac mine near Mountain Iron.

DNR officials determined that the environmental assessment worksheet process for the expansion provided adequate information on the potential environmental affects.

U.S. Steel is planning to add a 483-acre extension to the MInntac facility. The proposed extension would not result in an increase in the rate of production or annual volume, but is expected to increase the life of the facility by 16 years. It will result in about a five percent increase in the size of mine pits on adjacent land leased by the company.

Minntac is the largest taconite plant in Minnesota, employing more than 1,400 workers.

The DNR received 202 written comment letters, emails and faxes from agencies or individuals during the 30-day EAW public review and comment period. Specific topics of concern included stream loss, watershed alteration, and water quality impacts from mine pit discharge and tailings basin seepage.

Each of those environmental effects are already regulated by the DNR and other agencies.

The Minntac extension project will now be considered for permitting. Permit applications are subject to additional public review and comment periods.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati