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Public Comment Period Open for Northshore Mining | MN?>

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announces their intent to issue an air emissions permit to Cliffs Natural Resources for their facility at 10 Outer Dr., Silver Bay, MN.

Public Comment Period Begins: May 3, 2014

Public Comment Period Ends: June 2, 2014

“This permit action is for modification and operation of the facility. The permit action is a major amendment; therefore the draft/proposed permit has been placed on public notice. The MPCA is seeking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) concurrent review of this draft/proposed permit and the EPA 45-day review period will begin with the 30-day public review period. The draft/proposed permit does not authorize any emissions increases.”

For the full text of this announcement and information on how to submit your comments, click here.

For more information on this and other MPCA notices visit, www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/public-notices/list.html

Mining & Local Communities | WI?>

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7pm | Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Sentry Rm, Northland College, 1411 Ellis Ave., Ashland, WI

Speakers: Roy Smith and Bob Tammen

In this panel presentation, Roy Smith, director of workforce development for the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board located in Eveleth, Minn., will present “Developing a Mining Workforce: The Economic Benefits of Mining Communities.”

Bob Tammen, former mineral company employee on Minnesota Mesabi Iron Range and community activist will present “Environmental Impacts in Mining Communities.” Tammen is a retired electrician and a resident of Soudan, Minn., a former mining town. He lives near a porposed copper mine site on the Minnesota Iron Range.

This presentation is part of the institutes 2014 Perspectives on Mining Series. The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute works with Northland College and regional partners to promote stewardship, identify opportunities, deliver educational programs, and facilitate solutions that address environmental issues throughout the North Country.

For more information visit the institute’s website, www.northland.edu/sigurd-olson-environmental-institute-overview.htm

or contact Jean Ayers at, jayers@northland.edu

Residents File Suit Against WI DNR Over GTac Rock Sampling?>

Eight Wisconsin residents have filed suit against the Wisconsin DNR claiming that mining company Gogebic Taconite needed a permit before it began exploratory excavations in the Penokee Hills. Milwaukee attorney Dennis Grzezinski filed the suit Monday, March 10, 2014, in Iron County Circuit Court.

“The lawsuit argues the Department of Natural Resources’ failure to require Gogebic Taconite to obtain a storm water permit resulted in no safeguards to reduce potential pollution as snow melt and rain runs off excavation debris. The lawsuit demands a judge declare a permit is necessary and order the DNR to force Gogebic Taconite to mitigate any environmental damage.” (Wisconsin State Journal)

To read the full Wisconsin State Journal, article by Todd Richmond, click here.

To read the BusinessNorth.com article, by Mike Simonson, click here.

 

EPA Reverses Itself on Mesabi Nugget Variance?>

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is voluntarily vacating it’s decision to approve a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency variance for the Mesabi Nugget taconite facility.

“The MPCA had asked EPA officials to make an exception for Mesabi Nugget and allow the company to exceed water quality standards for four pollutants, including sulfate. The EPA approved that variance, but two environmental groups and two tribes said the EPA was wrong to issue the variance and sued the agency.”

To read the full story by Elizabeth Dunbar, click here.

Exploring Geology & Engineering in a Mining Economy | WI?>

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7pm (CT) | Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Sentry Rm, Northland College, 1411 Ellis Ave., Ashland, WI

Speakers: Donald Fosnacht and George Hudak

Two scientists from the University of Minnesota-Duluth will discuss the environmental, scientific, and economic aspects of iron and metallic mining in the Lake Superior basin. Donald Fosnacht and George Hudak of the Natural Resources Research Institute at University of Minnesota-Duluth in Duluth, Minn. will focus on unique geological formations that are driving the mining boom and how modern mines are engineered to extract and process ores into raw materials.

This presentation is part of the institutes 2014 Perspectives on Mining Series. The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute works with Northland College and regional partners to promote stewardship, identify opportunities, deliver educational programs, and facilitate solutions that address environmental issues throughout the North Country.

For more information visit the institute’s website, www.northland.edu/sigurd-olson-environmental-institute-overview.htm

or contact Jean Ayers at, jayers@northland.edu

Meet One on One with Gogebic Taconite | WI?>

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | Multiple locations listed below. All times are CDT

Gogebic Taconite will be meeting one on one with concerned citizens regarding their proposed taconite mine in the Penokee Hills. Meetings will take place at five locations throughout the region. To schedule a meeting call Gogebic Taconite’s Hurley office at 715-561-2601.

7-8:15am | Schienenbeck’s Shanty, 309 S. 5th St., Butternut, WI 54514

9:15-10:30am | Vaughn Library, 502 Main St., W. Ashland, WI 54806

12:30-1:45pm | Joany’s Sidekick’s-Iron Belt, Wisconsin 77, Iron Belt, WI 54536

2:45-4pm | Gogebic Taconite Office, 402 Silver St., Hurley, WI 54534

5-6:15pm | Subway, 5116 US 51, Mercer, WI 54547

Minnesota’s Mining Not an Economic Panacea?>

“Mining could be a huge economic boost for the state, say proponents of an iron ore mine in northwestern Wisconsin. But it hasn’t been a cure-all for the big iron ranges of Minnesota and Michigan.” Read the full article by Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel writer, Lee Bergquist here.

Mine Dewatering and Groundwater Levels?>

Mine Dewatering and Groundwater Levels

INFOgraphic | How mine dewatering affects groundwater levels. | Groundwater flows from aquifers into the ore pit, reducing the quantity of water available to local springs and wells. The size of the area affected by this drawing off of the groundwater is determined by the area’s geology and hydrology.

Public Hearing on GTac Bulk Sampling Activity | WI?>

Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, 10am-8pm | Hurley High School, 5503 W. Range View Drive, Hurley, WI

Contact(s): Ann Coakley, DNR Waste and Materials director – 608-516-2492.

The Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a public informational hearing August 15 on the proposed bulk sampling activity and the preapplication notice to mine at Gogebic Taconite’s potential mining project near Mellen, Wisconsin. To read the complete WDNR statement click here.

The hearing will be a public informational hearing, where individuals can provide oral or written comments as well as learn about the proposed bulk sampling activity and the preapplication description of the potential mine project. Any member of the public may submit written comments on the proposed bulk sampling activity or the preapplication description of the potential mining project through September 3, 2013.

Agency staff will provide a brief summary of the available information about the bulk sampling and DNR approvals needed by Gogebic Taconite. These informational presentations will be at 10 am and 5 pm. The department will also provide a summary of the steps that must be followed prior to the submission of a mining application for the project.

To read the DNR response to GTac’s initial bulk sampling application, click here.

To read GTac’s response to the DNR’s comments on their application, click here.

To read additional documents, or to sign up for email alerts on this project, click here.

Public Comment Period Open for U.S. Steel Corp.- Minntac | MN?>

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announces their receipt of an application for a permit to continue the operation of a waste tire storage area and a land treatment area for petroleum contaminated solids/sludge and to maintain the closed industrial solid waste landfill.

Public Comment Period Begins: July 30, 2013

Public Comment Period Ends: August 29, 2013

U.S. Steel, Minnesota Ore Operations is a taconite plant on Minnesota’s Iron Range. It produces high-grade iron ore pellets for use at integrated steel mills. Approximately 70% of the ore processed is sent to the tailings basin for impoundment. The U.S. Steel, Minnesota Ore Operations has a 7,900 acre tailings basin that is divided into smaller cells that range in size from 100 to 400 acres. The closed industrial solid waste landfill and the original solids/sludge land treatment area are located in Cell A-2 of the 7,900 acre tailings basin located north of the taconite processing plant. A new 6 acre land treatment area will be located on top of an overburden stockpile located in the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 6, Township 58N, Range 18W. Waste tires are generated by mining operations and are stored on site until enough are generated to send them off-site for recycling. The waste tire storage area is located on the southeast corner of the Central Shop in the area of the taconite processing plant.

The industrial solid waste disposal area is approximately 10 acres in size and is closed. Construction of the final cover system for the landfill was completed in 2012. No additional acceptance or disposal of industrial solid waste or demolition debris is permitted in this area. The landfill was closed with approximately 490,039 cubic yards of waste and coarse tailings in place. U.S. Steel–Minntac will be responsible for maintaining the final cover system of the landfill.

For the full text of this announcement and information on how to submit your comments, click here.

For more information on this and other MPCA notices visit, www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/public-notices/list.html

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