Whew, quick response to Freeborn Wind’s Motion:

Association of Freeborn County Landowners_FINAL Reply

Here’s their Motion:

20189-146448-02_Motion to Exclude Untimely Filing of Frank Kohlasch

From here, it looks like they’re trying to weasel their way into a 1 dBA “wiggle room” to add onto the state’s 50 dBA limit.  Ummmmmm, no!  No way is that supported by the record, and really, there’s already a 3 dBA “margin of error” built in, supposedly, well, so says Freeborn Wind’s expert Hankard!

Here’s the MPCA letter they’re so up in arms about, but wait, it’s nothing new!!!!

Letter 9/11/2018 Frank Kohlasch MPCA_20189-146351-01

Freeborn, you know all about ambient sound noise modeling, we discussed it for how many hours in the hearing?  Good grief…

Here are the MPCA’s noise standards:

NOISE STANDARDS  Minn. R. 7030.0040

maidenrocksand_stribPhoto of Maiden Rock frac sand mining operation across the river

The MPCA has announced a frac sand mining air permit comment period for the mine proposed in Scott County near Shakopee.

I believe this is the first frac sand mining permit to go through MPCA air permitting (I’ll check). Here’s the MPCA’s Frac Sand Mining Page.

If you write comments, there are specific things that have to be included, it says “must” in the Notice and “shall” in the rules, so I think they mean it.  Here’s what the rules say about comments:

Subp. 2. Contents of written comments.

A person who submits comments under subpart 1 shall include in the comments the following:

C. the reasons supporting the person’s position, stated with sufficient specificity as to allow the commissioner to investigate the merits of the person’s positions.

You may request a contested case, and that must be done under Minn. R. 7000.1800 Petition for Contested Case.  If you plan to do that, also check out Minn. R. 7000.1900 Criteria to Hold Contested Case Hearing.

Send Comments and Petitions by August 27, 2012 to the MPCA:

Steve Gorg, Air Quality Permits Section

Industrial Division, MPCA

520 LaFayette Road North

St. Paul, MN  55155


Here are the primary documents from the MPCA site:

  • Document Intent to Issue Air Emission Permit to Great Plains Sand LLC, Shakopee – Notice Full Text
  • Document Draft Air Emission Permit
  • Document Technical Support Document
  • essar-msi

    The DNR has announced a Supplemental EIS for the Essar Steel project (f/k/a MSI).


    March 25, 2010 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm

    Nashwauk-Keewatin High School

    400 2nd Street

    Nashwauk, MN, 55769

    Notice published 3/22 for a meeting on 3/25?

    CLICK HERE for the DNR’s page for the MSI EIS.

    Here’s the document that is open for comments until April 21, 2010:

    Essar – SEIS Preparation Notice

    From the original MSI proposal, here’s the chart of Potential To Emit from the Air Permit:

    MSI Air Permit – Potential to Emit Chart

    So for a 50% increase, multiply those numbers in the Potential to Emit Chart by 150%.  Take a look at those numbers and ask if that’s what you’d like in your lungs and fish.

    In light of the changes proposed, a few issues:

    * Does Essar now or anytime during the term covered by the supplemental EIS now being considered, and the term of the air permit currently issued, intend to use any amount of coal or metallurgical coke in any part of the mining, taconite or steel production processes or for energy at the Essar Steel Minnesota, LLC Nashwauk area facility, mine(s) or waste disposal and tailings sites.

    * How many tons per day of coal/coke are projected be required for the facility during full operation in July, 2013, July, 2018, and July, 2023.”

    * How many peak and average megawatts of electricity are now projected to be required for the facility in each year of operation, and specifically during peak operation in July, 2013, July, 2018, and July, 2023.

    * How many peak and average million cubic feet per hour of natural gas are now projected to be required for the facility during full operation in July, 2013, July, 2018, and July, 2023.

    * When will MPCA put air permit amendment out for review and comment?

    And now for the Essar Supplemental EIS:

    CLICK HERE for the DNR’s Supplemental EIS for Essar page.

    Here’s their announcement from the March 22, 2010  EQB Monitor:



    DNR will prepare a Supplemental EIS on a proposal by Essar Steel Minnesota to increase the production capacity of the Nashwauk facility’s crusher, concentrator, and taconite pellet plant from 4.1 million tons per year (mtpy) to 6.5 mtpy. This will require the addition of a crusher/concentrator line, and the installation of a larger pellet furnace, to the project evaluated in the original Minnesota Steel Project EIS.

    Page 4 EQB Monitor Vol. 34, No. 6
    Publication Date: March 22, 2010

    The SEIS is designated to deal only with impacts, alternatives, and mitigation that are no longer adequately examined in the original EIS due to the changes in the project, information, or circumstances.

    The DNR proposes that the following alternatives, impacts, and issues will be examined as part of the SEIS.

    Alternatives: The SEIS will address four alternatives for the increased production in taconite pellets: 1) the Proposed Alternative (Increase taconite pellet production from 4.1 mtpy to 6.5 mtpy), which was not addressed in the original EIS; 2) the No-Action Alternative, which is the original “Build or Proposed Project” Alternative evaluated in the Minnesota Steel EIS; 3) a re-evaluation of best available control technology (BACT) for criteria pollutants whose emission are estimated to increase in amounts greater than the significant increase thresholds under 40 CFR Part 52, for any proposed changes to the BACT identified in the original EIS; and 4) air emissions control technology alternatives for mercury.

    Impacts and Issues: surface water quantity and quality; wild rice; solid waste generation; air quality; contribution to global greenhouse emissions; mercury; cumulative air quality: Class I PSD Pollutants, Class I Acid Deposition and Ecosystem Acidification, and Class I Visibility Impairment; cumulative mercury; cumulative effects – climate change; and socioeconomics.

    Special Studies or Research: updated mine plan; updated water quantity and water quality balance; wild rice; solid wastes generation estimates and disposal options; air emissions inventory; BACT evaluation for air emissions; Class I air quality analysis; Class II air quality analysis; mercury mass balance and control technology assessment; human health screening level risk assessment; screening level ecological risk assessment; greenhouse gas emissions inventory; cumulative effects on Class I air quality – PSD pollutants; cumulative effects on Class I air quality – acid deposition and ecosystem acidification; cumulative effects on Class I air quality – visibility impairment; cumulative health risk screening assessment; cumulative mercury; cumulative effects on climate change; socioeconomic effects.

    The DNR will accept written comments on the Preparation Notice during a 21-day period beginning March 22, 2010. Comments must be received by 4:30 PM on April 12, 2010. Comments may be emailed to environmentalrev@state.mn.us with “Essar Steel” in the subject line.   If using the email address, please include a name and mailing address so that it can be added to the mailing list.

    A public informational meeting will be held on March 25, 2010 at the Nashwauk-Keewatin High School, 400 2nd Street, Nashwauk, MN, 55769, from 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

    A draft SEIS is tentatively expected to be released for public review between October to December, 2010. The contact person at the DNR is: Bill Johnson, Planning Director, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155; 651-259-5126; bill.johnson@state.mn.us.


    EEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAA!  A big stake in its slimy little heart…

    Hot off the press from Sierra Club and Clean Water Action, who have been working tirelessly against Otter Tail Power’s Big Stone II coal plant, the Big Stone II air permit is upende

    Big Stone II – EPA Objection to Air Permit

    Here’s their press release in toto:



    Virginia Cramer, Sierra Club 804-519-8449
    Darrell Gerber, Clean Water Action 612-802-5372

    Date: January 23, 2009

    Big Stone II Sent Back to the Drawing Board
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Concerned About Pollution, Global Warming

    Washington, DC – Less than three days after the Bush Administration left office, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has overturned the State of South Dakota’s approval of the massive Big Stone II coal-fired power plant.  The EPA’s decision comes after the state failed to require state-of-the-art pollution controls for the coal plant that would address concerns about harmful soot, smog and global warming pollution.

    “This is a great day not only for clean energy and people’s health, it’s a victory for the rule of law,” said Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s Move Beyond Coal Campaign. “EPA is signaling that it is back to enforcing longstanding legal requirements fairly and consistently nationwide,” added Nilles.

    As the first major coal plant decision by the EPA since President Obama took office, this decision signals that the dozens of other coal plant proposals currently in permitting processes nationwide will face a new level of federal scrutiny. Sierra Club and Clean Water Action have been working to stop the Big Stone II project and ramp up clean energy investments in for more than three years.

    “Today EPA took the first step toward restoring science and integrity to its work and recognizing the very real need to reduce air pollution from coal-fired power plants,” said Darrell Gerber, Clean Water Action Program Coordinator.  “Downwind residents and the region’s natural resources will be better protected.”

    This decision likely spells the end of Otter Tail Power’s Big Stone II coal plant.  While for the past eight years the Bush Administration has refused to regulate global warming pollution, even after being ordered to do so by the US Supreme Court, President Obama has pledged that the US will cut global warming pollution and do its part to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. With coal-fired power plants accounting for almost 30% of our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, burning less coal and investing in clean energy such as wind and solar instead is a common sense approach to helping meet global warming pollution reduction goals. The proposed Big Stone II 500-megawatt coal plant would have emitted more than 4 million tons of global pollution annually.

    At a minimum, Otter Tail Power will have to go back to the drawing board and redesign the project to incorporate the best and maximum available control technology for pollution like soot and smog.  Sierra Club and Clean Water Action will be pushing for EPA to set limits also for carbon dioxide, the main contributor to global warming.

    “Otter Tail Power will now have to be responsible for the cost of its pollution,” said Nilles. “We hope that this increasing cost of coal will encourage Otter Tail Power, along with Governors Pawlenty and Rounds, to harness the clean and affordable wind resources available in the region. Minnesota and South Dakota should be leaders on the path to renewable energy independence, not laggards proposing 19th century coal plants.”


    Now, can we get them to end Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project?