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3M's Cottage Grove neighbors dig in for fight over incinerator emissions

3M wants permission to burn industrial waste from other companies, as well as its own, at its Cottage Grove incinerator. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says even with the additional waste 3M will be burning far less than its permit allows. But a group of neighbors is gearing up for a fight at this month's MPCA meeting, saying "pollution for profit" should not be approved.
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3M wants permission to burn industrial waste from other companies, as well as its own, at its Cottage Grove incinerator. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says even with the additional waste 3M will be burning far less than its permit allows. But a group of neighbors is gearing up for a fight at this month's MPCA meeting, saying "pollution for profit" should not be approved.

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After more than three-years, a state pollution control board voted unanimously to grant 3M a controversial permit to start burning hazardous waste from other companies at its incinerator. Some residents oppose the plan to import waste because of concerns it will endanger public health. Both 3M and the MPCA dispute those claims.

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3M already operates a hazardous waste incinerator in Cottage Grove. But the company generates too little waste to make its operation viable. Its proposal to bring in hazardous waste from elsewhere to be burned in Cottage Grove has some residents worried. They want the state to study the impact of such a move.

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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency threw out a petition from residents concerned about the health impact of toxic chemicals. 3M wants to import and burn hazardous waste from other companies at its incinerator in Cottage Grove. The board will discuss the new permit to allow non-3M waste next month.

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