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SEMEP files suit against MPCA over Heartland

Fri, Jun 27th, 2003
Posted in Features

Papers were filed in District Court on Wednesday, June 25 by attorneys for Southeastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection (SEMEP) suing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for its decision on Februrary 25, 2003 not to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Heartland Energy & Recycling LLC plant in Preston.

Heartland plans to convert approximately 10,000,000 scrap tires annually into electricity using fluid-bed technology. The electricity would then be sold on the grid.

In addition to receiving previous permits from the MPCA, Heartland recently received a conditional use permit from the city of Preston to proceed with building the energy plant. In July the MPCA is expected to decide whether to approve an Air Permit for Heartland.

In the suit, SEMEP is seeking a court order requiring that the MPCA carry out an EIS on the Heartland plant.

In court papers, SEMEP claim that the MPCA acted arbitrarily by failing to consider the cumulative impacts of air emissions from Heartland together with air emissions from other plants, including Pro-Corn Ethanol plant, which is located 900 feet away. They also argue that the MPCA, by deferring critical air emission analysis to a later permitting, abandoned its duty to require an EIS where there exists a potential for significant environmental effects.

Representing SEMEP are attorneys Peters & Peters, PLC of Alexandria, who successfully argued a case against the MPCA over Reiland Farm’s plan to build a dairy operation in Forestville Township. No trial date has been set.

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