Delay on New Air Regulations for Mining

Posted at: 11/27/2012 12:21 PM
Updated at: 11/27/2012 8:22 PM
By: Renee Passal

The taconite industry will have to wait a little longer to find out if the federal government is going to impose air quality regulations different than the state had planned.

And its regulations in general that could hurt an expansion planned at Keewatin Taconite, according to lawmakers.

At Tuesday's MPCA citizen board meeting, State Senator Dave Tomassoni explained his concern about permitting and regulations in the industry. He also said that he's not sure if U.S. Steel will proceed with the planned re-start of a production line, based on the process it is to go through the permitting. "They've spent four years and $30 million dollars, to restart a line that produced pellets in the 1980s." 

The EPA plans on finalizing a rule about air emissions that the industry and the state have said will be hard to meet, timeline wise. But MPCA officials are expressing hope that the new plan that will be proposed will address some of the concerns and limitations.

The EPA's deadline to finalize the rule had been this week, but that has been extended to December 10th.