Essar Steel in the news

March 30th, 2010

Essar Steel is in the news.  Thursday was the “public meeting” on the Supplemental EIS, with THREE DAYS NOTICE, and here are the handouts (whoever said they didn’t give us anything!):

March 25 – DNR Essar Public Meeting – Handouts

March 25 – DNR Essar Public Meeting – Presentation

Here’s the Supplemental EIS scoping document to review and comment on:

Essar – SEIS Preparation Notice

Comments should be sent to:

Bill Johnson

MN DNR, Division of Ecological Services

Box 25, 500 Lafayette Rd.

St. Paul, Minn., 55155


email to:

Here’s the poop from MPR:

Essar Steel postpones Nashwauk plant’s opening date

Hibbing, Minn. (AP) — Essar Steel Minnesota says production of a
low-grade iron ore that was scheduled to begin next year will now be
pushed back until 2012.

The company says it ran into delays in securing financing, though
Essar Steel officials have said they’re still committed to building the plant.

The facilities would produce taconite and iron-ore pellets. They would
create an estimated 500 jobs in Nashwauk.

State Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam, says he’s disappointed in the latest
delay. But he says he’s heartened that signs point to increased
taconite demand in coming years.

The company says it’s also considering modifications to the plant that
could increase production almost 60 percent. The Duluth News Tribune
says that would mean further delays for renewed environmental-impact

And from the Hibbing Daily Tribune:

Essar informational meeting draws crowd

By Kathryn Kohlhase
Hibbing Daily Tribune

NASHWAUK — Area residents are hungry for more information about the Essar Steel Minnesota LLC (ESML) project.
Around 80 people attended Thursday’s ESML informational meeting held at the Nashwauk-Keewatin High School.

The meeting was focused on the project’s recently announced modifications and the accompanying Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Many attended to get an update, while others had questions about the future of the project.

One of the residents living within the ESML right-to-mine area said many favor the project.

“The construction and mining jobs created will be great for the area,” he said. “But there is frustration that comes from the poor communication and missed time lines.”

Comments like these were directed to the comment box at the back of the room.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) SEIS Project Manager Bill Johnson explained the project’s modifications and the resulting SEIS process.

An EIS reviews a proposed project’s description, alternatives, and potential environmental, social and economic impacts, as well as possible mitigation for said impacts. Such reviews must be completed before permitting and construction can begin.

The DNR conducted an EIS process for the Essar project in conjunction with a federal environmental review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both agencies completed the original EIS in August 2007.

Earlier this month, Essar officials announced a proposal to increase the mine’s annual pellet production from 4.1 to 6.5 million tons.

Read the rest of this entry »


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 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;