MPCA proposes to deny Minntac water permit variance application; comments sought at public hearing

Contact: Anne Perry Moore, 218-302-6605

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) staff invite the public to make comments about the agency’s proposed denial of U.S. Steel Minntac’s application for a water quality permit variance at its Mountain Iron, Minn. facility.

The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Mountain Iron Community Center, Iroquois Room, 8586 Enterprise Drive South, Mountain Iron, Minn. MPCA staff will present an overview of the agency’s variance review process, site-related permitting options and reasons for the proposed variance denial. An opportunity to ask clarifying questions and/or make verbal comments will follow the presentation.

If extreme weather prevents holding the hearing, a snow date will be set and the comment period extended.

U.S. Steel owns and processes iron ore at its Minntac facility in Mountain Iron. Their proposed water permit variance relates to state water quality standards at the facility’s tailings basin.

Written public comments will be accepted at this hearing. All other comments must be emailed or mailed to Erik Smith, MPCA 520 Lafayette Road North, St, Paul, MN 55155 or The public comment period ends at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2018. Comments must include:  a statement of the writer’s interest, the action the writer wishes the agency take, and reasons supporting the writer’s position.

Questions related to the Minntac proposal may be directed to Erik Smith, MPCA industrial program hydrologist, at 651-757-2719, 800-657-3864 or

To learn more about the proposed variance denial, search the MPCA website for “Minntac variance.”