Mesabi Nugget agrees to penalty over air violations

Contact: Anne Perry Moore, 218-302-6605

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency recently concluded a joint enforcement action and have reached a settlement with Mesabi Nugget Delaware LLC for state and federal air quality permit violations at the company’s idled Aurora, Minn. facility. Air quality rules like these are designed to protect human health and the environment.

Mesabi Nugget will pay a $150,000 penalty and fulfill related requirements prior to re-starting the plant.

Permit violations included emission test failures of particulate matter (dust), mercury, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions. Federal and state air quality permits are designed to limit excessive amounts of these types of pollutants due to potential harm to air and human health.

Though the company’s Aurora facility is currently not operating, this agreement requires the company to:

  1. install and operate mercury and other monitoring systems,
  2. develop and submit site-specific preventative maintenance plans, and,
  3. demonstrate compliance with emission limits after the plant’s yet-to-be-determined re-start date.  

Environmental rules and regulations are essential tools used to protect Minnesota’s environment. For more information about how the agency encourages compliance, and incorporates a variety of tools to respond to non-compliance, visit the MPCA’s Enforcement primer webpage.