We invite you to comment on the draft wastewater permit for Cliffs Erie-Taconite Harbor Dock.
Cliffs Erie LLC is responsible for the inactive Taconite Harbor Dock and Closed Ash Landfill site. This site consisted of rail car unloading, transfer, storage, and bulk ship loading of taconite pellets, limestone stockpiling, as well as coal used at an onsite power plant now operated by Minnesota Power. Coal ash from the power plant was landfilled at this site.
The draft permit authorizes the discharge of stormwater associated with past industrial activity and may contain minor amounts of residual taconite pellets, pellet chips, and tailings, as well as windblown coal tailings from the adjacent power plant. Most of the stormwater is released to Lake Superior.
Wastewater from industrial and commercial sources may contain pollutants at levels that could adversely affect the water quality in area wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes. Water quality permits - or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits - establish specific limits and requirements to protect Minnesota's surface and groundwater quality. All wastewater must be treated before it goes into surface water to protect human health and aquatic life. Permits are regularly reviewed and updated as they expire, allowing the MPCA to incorporate new information about the impacts of pollutants on the environment in future permits.
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