Supreme Court backs band on groundwater


February 26, 2021

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was justified in arguing that pollution seeping into groundwater from the Minntac mine tailing basin in Mountain Iron has harmed federally protected waters.

The court sided with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, which appealed a 2019 court of appeals decision that said the MPCA failed in interpreting water rules in a 2018 permit for the U.S. Steel iron ore mine and pellet plant.

The appeals court ruled that the MPCA couldn’t use stricter standards when it issued the permit. The b...

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