Today was the deadline for filing Exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s Recommendation for Line 3 Certificate of Need and Route.  Here’s the ALJ’s Recommendation:

Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation

I quick filed an Exception on behalf of Association of Freeborn County Landowners, objecting to inclusion and objecting to any consideration of “System Alternative 04” or SA-04, because no notice was given to landowners in Freeborn County, and well, to any of the landowners along SA-04.

Association of Freeborn County Landowners_ Exceptions to Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommendation of ALJ

Friends of the Headwaters proposed SA-04, the only “System Alternative” proposed in the Certificate of Need proceeding.  … sigh…. foisting it elsewhere is not a good strategy.  Search their Exceptions for more info on their rationale – do a search for “SA-04” of this filing:

20185-142900-04_Exceptions – Friends Of The Headwaters

Are there others advocating for AS-04?  Looking… it’ll take a bit.

System Alternative SA-04 is noted 139 times in the ALJ’s Recommendation, and is first mentioned on p. 24:

And the Public Utilities Commission accepted it for further evaluation, but no notice was provided:

But no meetings in the area — and still no notice:

… sigh… on it goes…

And regarding the DNR’s take on SA-04 (will find DNR comment):

Here are all the other references to SA-04 in order — the ALJ does reject it, saying it is not a viable alternative:

And then the ALJ considers comments:

The DNR comments are troubling:

Here’s the actual DNR Comment:

201711-137640-01_DNR’s  Comment (SA-04)

The DNR said about SA-04:

And back to the ALJ’s mentions of SA-04:



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.

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