Media Contact: Jennifer Groebner, (651) 296-7706 Technical Contact: William Lynott, (651) 296-7794 St. Paul, Minn. - Based on citizen feedback at a recent public meeting, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has extended the public comment period on the Scoping Environmental Assessment Worksheet and draft Scoping Decision Document for the proposed Xcel Energy ash landfill project. These documents are intended to identify the issues to be addressed in an Environmental Impact Statement that will be prepared on the proposed project. An additional two weeks will be added to the comment period, which will now end on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m. Commenters are urged to focus their comments on the issues they believe should be addressed in the EIS. Last week's public meeting revealed that a large number of people who wanted to review the preliminary environmental review documents were not on the initial mailing list, and therefore did not receive them at the start of the notice period. For those who have already commented, there is no need to resubmit comments. All will be reviewed and considered, and any written comments received will be responded to in writing in the record. After reviewing all comments, MPCA staff will revise the draft Scoping Decision Document as necessary. The result will be the final "blueprint" for the EIS. Because the comment period is being extended, the Final Scoping Decision Document is tentatively scheduled to be presented to the MPCA Citizens' Board for final approval in December, rather than November as previously announced. Everyone on the mailing list will be notified in advance of the time and date of that meeting, and at the same time be sent copies of the documents that will be considered by the Board. Copies of the Xcel Energy Ash Landfill Scoping EAW and draft Scoping Decision Document are available for review at:
· The MPCA's St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Rd. N.
· MPCA Web site at/news/eaw/index.html
· Valley Branch Library, 380 St. Croix Trail, Lakeland
· Washington County Library, 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury
Copies may also be requested directly and names added to the project mailing list by calling Mary Osborn at (651) 297-8510. Questions about the project should be directed to Jennifer Groebner at (651) 296-7706; (800) 657-3864 (toll free/TTY). Comments on the documents should be sent to William Lynott, MPCA Environmental Review Unit, 520 Lafayette Road North, St Paul, MN 55155.
Xcel Energy is developing plans for the disposal of coal ash produced after 2009 by the A.S. King Electric Generating Plant in Oak Park Heights. Xcel Energy's preferred alternative is to dispose of this ash in a new landfill to be developed in West Lakeland Township.
The draft Scoping Environmental Assessment Worksheet evaluates potential environmental issues related to the project,