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Judge Wieners hears arguments in MPCA suit


Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

ROCHESTER - Judge Joseph Wieners listened to more than two hours of arguments from attorneys on Tuesday in a suit brought against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency by an environmental group. Orig-inally scheduled for courtroom #6, the hearing had to be moved to a larger courtroom because of the large crowd.

Southeast Minnesotans for Environmental Protection (SEMEP) filed suit after the state regulatory agency did not require an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Heartland Energy & Recycling tire-burning plant in Preston. Alexandria attorney Jim Peters, representing SEMEP, told the court that the MPCA violated its own procedures in not allowing citizens to review testing done by the regulatory agency after the Environmental Assessment Worksheet comment period ended on October 25, 2002.

“Heartland changed the project after the public comment,” Peters said. “And the MPCA allowed this because they knew they needed more information.”

Peters said that the MPCA did additional testing in February 2002 and did not allow public comment on those test results.

According to Peters, Heartland, in their EAW, planned on using using 80% TDF and 20% wood to generate electricity.

Calling Heartland “the biggest tire burning facility in the country, possibly the world,” Peters said the company would burn 93,000 tons of tires annually using a fluidized bed process. Peters called the project “totally experimental” and challenged the data used in the EAW which was gathered from modeling done in 1986.

Using a three foot by three foot box, Peters showed the size of the plant modeled and told the court that Heartland would be a hundred times larger.

Peters cited a Department of Health memo which stated that “test burns rarely mimic actual results.”

Referring to the cumulative emissions of placing Heartland within 900 feet of the ProCorn ethanol plant, Peters asked why the MPCA had no data on ProCorn during the EAW.

“During the public comment period ProCorn was fined by the Environmental Protection Agency for violating pollution standards, and yet the MPCA had nothing on Procorn.” Peters said.

Attorney Tom Dunwald, who is representing the city of Preston who had intervened in the SEMEP suit, argued that the MPCA “shoehorned” the Heartland project .....
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

Wesley Duane Alden, 35, of Preston has been charged with two felony counts of first degree driving while impaired following his arrest on November 26 in Fountain. He is also charged with driving without a license, ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: New police officer sworn in

Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

At the regular meeting of the Preston City Council Monday evening, Blaise Sass was sworn in as the newest member of the Preston Police Force. Officer Sass will start on Wednesday, December 3.

Truth in Taxation

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Lanesboro City Council Report: Spotlight on Lanesboro’s Chamber of Commerce

Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

“$1.5 million comes into Lanesboro each year through tourism.” This is just one of the facts Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce representatives Joan Ruen, Carla Noack, Lori Bakke, and Julie Kiehne shared with the Lanesboro City Council at their regular me ..... 
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County Board approves sand and rock quarry permits

Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

As the board reviewed the resolutions, the issues of sites stockpiling supplies in road right-of-ways, dust control, and a growing trend of abandoned automobiles accumulating at the sites, was visited several times. The dust control issue appeared to ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: Driver’s License Department -Where should it go?

Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

When discussing ways to save money and still maintain efficient departments, the county board has been looking into the possibility of letting the Driver License Department move out of the courthouse to the private sector.

Joan ..... 
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Company exploring for industry-related metals in Fillmore County

Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

Several property owners around Peterson and Mabel have been contacted by a mineral exploration company about the right to test for base metals on their land.

Prime Meridian Resources of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin hopes to begin a th ..... 
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Above the Arctic Circle

Fri, Nov 28th, 2003
Posted in Features

"We have nine months of winter and three months of poor skiing conditions"

Back in 1976, when I accepted the invitation to visit the Tromsø family, I had no idea they lived among the indigenous Sami people (formally called Lapps ..... 
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Judge Fabian hears arguments in Maust vs. city of Preston

Fri, Nov 28th, 2003
Posted in Features

Judge James Fabian listened to two hours of oral arguments from attorneys on Friday, November 21 in the Elaine and Robert Maust mandamus action against the city of Preston.

In their suit, the Mausts maintain that they met all o ..... 
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