EPA oversteps bounds on taconite rules: miners

Apr 03, 2013 | 01:17 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  Minnesota, EPA, taconite, nitrogen oxide, Cliffs Natural Resources, ArcelorMittal, National Mining Association, catherine ngai

NEW YORK — Steelmakers with raw material operations in Minnesota and Michigan have said that new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on regional taconite facilities could cost producers millions of dollars in retrofitting and lost production.

Iron ore producers ArcelorMittal USA LLC and Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., as well as the National Mining Association (NMA), are among those pushing back against the new air pollution standards for taconite facilities, in large part due to the federal agency’s entrance into an arena traditionally regulated by the states themselves.

"NMA believes that EPA’s actions are contrary to the spirit of cooperative federalism embodied by the (Clean Air Act)," the NMA wrote in an EPA filing.

The EPA first proposed the new rules for taconite facilities in July 2012 and received more than 1,200 comments, according to its website. It issued a federal implementation plan (FIP) in January to set air pollution standards for six taconite facilities in Minnesota and one in Michigan in an effort to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide in the air.....

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