The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Resolution 28-17 Sulfates

RESOLUTION NUMBER 28-17

 

COMMUNICATING MOUNTAIN IRON’S CONCERNS REGARDING DEVASTATING IMPACTS OF MPCA’S PROPOSED WATER QUALITY STANDARD TO PROTECT WILD RICE

 

WHEREAS, Minnesota’s water quality standard to protect wild rice is obsolete and it is widely agreed that the standard must be repealed; and,

 

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (“MPCA”) has proposed a revised water quality standard to replace the obsolete standard and is currently accepting comments on the proposal; and,

 

WHEREAS, the municipalities and industries across Northeastern Minnesota will be subject to the MPCA proposed rule if it is adopted; and,

 

WHEREAS, compliance with the proposed rule could cost Mountain Iron millions of dollars in capital expenditures and ongoing operations costs;

 

WHEREAS, compliance with the proposed rule at a single discharge from a taconite facility in Northeastern Minnesota could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in capital expenditures and ongoing operations costs; and,

 

WHEREAS, the MPCA has acknowledged that they are uncertain whether wild rice abundance will increase or sustain in Northeastern Minnesota if the proposed standard is complied with and that the newly proposed rule will miscalculate the standard for a discharger almost 20 percent of the time; and,

 

WHEREAS, the MPCA has acknowledged that there are multiple factors other than sulfide that impact wild rice but are choosing not to evaluate those factors; and,

 

WHEREAS, the MPCA is proceeding with the rulemaking despite clear legislative direction to wait until the MPCA completes its legislatively-funded  report due in May 2018 to analyze wastewater treatment alternatives to inform the development and implementation of the wild rice sulfate standard; and

 

WHEREAS, the proposed MPCA rule could have devastating impacts on our cities, industry and communities in Northeastern Minnesota.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF MOUNTAIN IRON, MINNESOTA; that all elected officials and citizens of Northeastern Minnesota Communities should comment to the MPCA that their proposed rule has the potential to devastate our cities, our communities, our important industries and our way of life; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the MPCA should immediately suspend its rulemaking process until after May 2018 until it completes its analysis of wastewater treatment alternatives to inform the development and implementation of the wild rice sulfate standard and can include the results of that analysis in the rulemaking documents available for public comment; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Governor of the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Legislature must take action to stop the MPCA rulemaking until our state elected officials determine whether requiring cities and industry to spend a billion dollars or more on wastewater treatment infrastructure and operations to provide speculative protection to a small percentage of the rice beds in Minnesota is an appropriate action for the State of Minnesota to take in light of the devastating impacts on our communities; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that wild rice is an important resource in Northeastern Minnesota and the State of Minnesota should replace the MPCA proposal with a more effective and economically responsible program to promote healthy wild rice in Minnesota.

 

DULY ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL THIS 2nd DAY OF OCTOBER, 2017.

 

 

 

____________________________________

 Mayor Gary Skalko

ATTEST:

 

 

 

__________________________________

City Administrator

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