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MPCA expected to rule EIS not needed on Heartland

Fri, Feb 21st, 2003
Posted in Features

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Citizens’ Board is expected to rule on Tuesday, February 25, that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not needed for the proposed Heartland Energy and Recycling plant in Preston. The Citizens’ Board is expected to base their decision on an MPCA staff report that has concluded that Heartland “does not have the potential for significant environmental effects.”

Heartland is proposing to build a 20-21 megawatt power generating facility in Preston’s Industrial Park that would use tire derived fuel to generate steam which would in turn produce electricity. Heartland intends to sell recoverable steel and ash residue as byproducts from this process.

As part of their report, MPCA staff reviewed the 86 comments received in response to an Environmental Assessment Workshop on the proposed energy facility.

Of the 86 comment letters received by the MPCA, seven came from government entities and 79 from interested parties. Most of the comments asked that the MPCA order an EIS and raised issues regarding air emissions, particulate matter, noise, dust, odors, water quality and the cumulative impacts with the adjacent Pro-Corn Ethanol plant.

In their report to the Citizens’ Board, the MPCA responded to each of the issues raised by the comment letters and concluded by stating that “there are no potential significant environmental effects reasonably expected to occur from the project.”

Once the Citizens’ Board makes their decision not to require an EIS, the MPCA will proceed with gathering public comment regarding the Air Emissions Draft Permit.

Jenny Reinertsen, an Air Quality Engineer with the MPCA who will write the Air Emissions Draft Permit told the Journal that she hopes to get the public notice out sometime during the week of February 24. A public meeting would be held in Preston sometime in late March to take public comment.

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