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EIS ordered on Heartland


Fri, Jan 28th, 2005
Posted in Features

Every once in awhile David gets lucky and beats Goliath. Such was the case Tuesday night in St. Paul when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens’ Board rejected a PCA staff recommendation and ordered that an Environmental Impact Statement was necessary before an air permit could be granted to the proposed Heartland tire-burning plant in Preston.

Voting 6 to 1, following seven hours of testimony from more than 40 people, the Citizens’ Board passed a resolution stating that the Heartland Energy & Recycling LLC tire plant has the potential for significant environmental effect.

The plant, which would burn 10 million scrap tires annually using fluid bed boiler technology planned to generate 20 megawatts of electricity.

The action by the Citizens’ Board reversed nearly two years of PCA findings of fact supporting the technology behind the plant.

On February 25, 2003, the PCA decided that a basic Environmental Assessment Worksheet was sufficient in meeting the plant’s obligations for an air permit and that a more thorough EIS was not needed. This decision was challenged by Southeastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection (SEMEP) in court and on February 17, 2004, Olmsted County District Judge Joseph Wieners remanded the matter back to the PCA saying that the regulatory agency should take a “hard look” at its findings of fact regarding the plant. This resulted in the PCA staff drafting a Supplemental Environmental Assessment Worksheet responding to the Judge’s order. This was what the Citizen’s Board turned down on Tuesday.

Layer upon layer of testimony was given by a number of people, including representatives from SEMEP, Citizens Against Pollution, Southern Minnesota Action Committee, the League of Women Voters, and the Sierra Club. Resolutions calling for an EIS from several communities, townships and counties were read into the record. Participants came from as far away as Onalaska, Wisconsin and Decorah, Iowa.

Particularly crucial, was testimony from three doctors from the Zumbro Valley Medical Society (ZVMS) which challenged the risk analysis carried out by PCA and Minnesota Department of Health staff. The medical society includes health professionals from Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted and Winona counties.

Dr. Roy House, a pediatrician from Rochester, focused on particulate matter less .....
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Courthouse remodel under budget

Fri, Jan 28th, 2005
Posted in Features

Dean Sand oversees construction and management of the county court house project and says that the project is in “very good shape for coming in under budget.” Chairman Chuck Amunrud inquired as to whether the county would recover the $300,000 plus le ..... 
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What’s next for Heartland?

Fri, Jan 28th, 2005
Posted in Features

When asked how she felt after the MPCA Citizens’ Board had voted 6 to 1 to require an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Heartland tire-burning plant, Fran Sauer, President of Southeastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection, said, ..... 
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Rural illegal dumping

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Features

RUSHFORD VILLAGE -Road-toss is hard to ignore after the leaves fall and frost flattens the underbrush. Wade through dormant raspberry snarling the ditch, past the “No Dumping” sign, down the hill where garbage bombs often explode. Under a clean blank ..... 
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Pawlenty pushes Rochester in State of the State

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Features

ROCHESTER - Governor Tim Pawlenty used Rochester as a backdrop for his “Ready for Action” state of the state address on Tuesday, January 19. Speaking from the Mayo Clinic Support Center in northwest Rochester, Pawlenty called for a four year universi ..... 
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A fish story engagement and family wedding

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Features

Rose McClimon, formerly of Chatfield, remembers first meeting Brandon Hamlin of Spring Valley while showing her horse at the Fillmore County Fair during the summer of 2001.

Brandon’s recollection went a bit farther back than th ..... 
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Preston City Council Report

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Features

Members of the Preston City Council met for about fifteen minutes to address a few minor issues. The Planning and Zoning Committee had made a recommendation to approve a lot split for Bruce Snitker and Randy Haakenson of Lot 8 along Parkside Drive. C ..... 
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Governor’s speech high on vision, low on details

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Features

ROCHESTER – Governor Tim Pawlenty often times sounded like a cheerleader during his state of the state address on Tuesday, rallying the invitation-only audience to “come on Minnesota, let’s go.” His speech was high on vision - genomics research, Smar ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Features

At the Lanesboro City Council meeting on January 18, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Julie Kiehne, presented the Lanesboro City Council with copies of a glossy, “hot-off-the-presses,” full-color 2005 Lanesboro Area Guide and Scrapbook. ..... 
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