Lawsuits seek to overturn EPA's water quality variance for Mesabi iron plant


A local environmental group and two northeast Minnesota Chippewa bands are challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to approve a water variance for Mesabi Nugget, claiming it allows the iron processing plant to dump excessive contaminants into the St. Louis River.

The Associated Press reports two similar lawsuits filed Monday by WaterLegacy and by the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Chippewa Indian bands say under the variance, the plant near Hoyt Lakes can improperly discharge high levels of salts, bicarbonates, hardness and other toxins that threaten wild rice beds and other aquatic organisms.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved the plant's water quality variance last October, saying there would be no adverse impacts on aquatic life and wild rice beds downstream, according to the Associated Press. The EPA signed off on it last December.

The groups seek to overturn the EPA's decision, which they say violates the Clean Water Act and other federal regulations.

The EPA said they don't comment on pending litigation.

KSTP has full copies of the lawsuits.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-06-14 at 8.45.06 AM

Loved ones identify woman killed in Uptown as Deona Marie Knajdek

She was among the protestors Sunday night when a motorist drove through the crowd.

hutchinson health hospital

Hutchinson Hospital forgives $184K in medical debt following settlement

The AG's office accused the nonprofit hospital of violating a regulatory agreement.


Chaska man seriously injured in waterskiing accident

The 24-year-old was airlifted to a hospital.

Flickr - beach water

9-year-old dies after drowning in Carver Lake in Woodbury

The incident follows a string of drownings in Minnesota over the weekend.

3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - August 2017

Owner closes JUUT in Uptown, cites 'escalating crime and violence'

JUUT is closed after 35 years at the Hennepin and Lake Street location.

Randy Dobnak

Michael Brantley, Astros pound Twins pitching in series finale

Randy Dobnak's six earned runs was part of a long afternoon.

Seimone Augustus

Lynx to retire jerseys of Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson next season

The former Lynx stars were a key piece of their four WNBA titles.

police tape, crime scene

Rushford police officer fires gun during report of a restraining order violation

The incident occurred on Highway 30 near the Rushford Municipal Airport.

lake water

18-year-old dies from drowning in Quarry Park

The incident is one of several drownings to occur in Minnesota in recent weeks.