Minnesota Pollution Control Agency mining documents: List one

PRM has received a set of documents from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) that details both ongoing and proposed mining projects in northern Minnesota. The documents describe modifications to existing waste water treatment facilities at the Peter Mitchell taconite mine, as well as aspects of the proposed NorthMet copper-sulfide mine.

PRM will post documents for public review as soon as possible, along with newly obtained records from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minnesota DNR, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  PRM has already started to post records obtained from EPA.  Find them here.

A summary of the first batch of PCA documents is included below, and is arranged by topic.


Description:  NorthMet Project Revised Wetland Permit Application, June 28, 2013

Date:  6/28/2013

Twin Metals

Description:  Letter of July 31, 2013 – Ilsley Colton of Twin Metals; from Melissa Doperalski of MN DNR regarding Twin Metals bulk sample project environmental assessment initial data submittal.

Date:  7/31/2013

Notes:  DNR determined that EAW was incomplete. Environmental review will not be a joint Fed-State process. State will communicate w/Feds. MNDR set up next meeting to clairfy.

Description:  Email of July 31st, 2013 from Suzanne Baumann to Joe Henderson (MPCA), Twin Metals, others, regarding city of Virginia as site for disposing Twin Metals “contact water”.

Date:  7/31/2013

Notes:  Discussing Twin Metals proposal to release contact water in Virginia and Hibbing public treatment facilities.

Description:  “Chemistry of Virginia WWTP Effluent with Shaft Water”

Description:  INCO Shaft – Twin Metals MN Water Pretreatment Flow Diagram.

Notes:  Diagram of INCO shaft site water pretreatment facility.

Description:  Map of “Twin Metals Maturi Property”

Notes:  7/2013

Description:  Map of “Shaft Site – Bulk Sample Project Twin Metals MN”

Description:  Printed slides of Twin Metals MN Power Point presentation

Notes:  “No contact water will be discharged from the site to adjacent uplands or wetlands”; contact water sent to local treatment facilities; no wetland impact; reclaimation of all disturbed lands.

Description:  Notes from written meeting w/Twin Metals – “Submit EAW by end of June.”

Notes:  6/4/2013

Falconia Minerals

Description:  “Falconia Minerals Corp Proposal for Kawishiwi Minerals Exploration DN/FONSI.”

Northshore Mining Company

Description:  Letter of May 9, 2013 from Jeff Udd of MPCA to Jakes Kopp of Northshore Mining Company re: draft major modified NPDES/SDS permit no. MN0046981, Northshore Mining Co – Peter Mitchell


Notes:  “MPCA has reviewed national polutant discharge elimination system permit application. Enclosed is draft of modified permit … – Granting of permit does not releave permittee from liability under state or federal law. – Prohibits unauthorized release of wastewater.”

Description:  MPCA Bulletin address report

Notes:  Related to “Public Notice: Intent to Major Modify NPDES and SDS Permit for Northshore Mining Co – Peter Mitchell in Babbitt” – List of recipients

Description:  Email from Jeff Udd of MPCA to Linda Grant of MCPA, May 8, 2013.


Notes:  Draft cover letter for Northshore mining Co – Peter Marshall. “Ready for review; approve re: your signature.”

Description:  Letter of Sept 10, 2012 from Andrea Hayden of Northshore Mining Co to Stephanie Handeland of MPCA.


Notes:  “Regarding application for Major Permit Modification of NPDES Permit no. MN0046981”; Technical memo regarding “preliminary wastewater treatment plant facility plan” (Barr Engingeering)

Description:  Letter of June 28, 2012 from Jeff Udd (PCA) to James Korpi of Northshore Mining Company.


Notes:  Final Minor Modified NPDES/SDS permit no MN0046981 Permit supercedes earlier permit modified June 5, 2012. – Includes signed copy of permit no MN0046981 expiring July 31, 2014.

Description:  “MPCA – NPDES/SDS Final Permit Administrative Procedure Checklist” related to permit no MN0046981 – Peter Mitchell.

Notes:  Includes copy of signed permit.

Description:  Letter of July 10, 2013 from Brian Schweiss of MPCA to Andrea Hayden of Northshore Mining Company.


Notes:  Re: Domestic Wastewater Facility Plans NPDES/SDS permit no MN0046981. “MPCA has completed review of construction plans, and construction shall begin in accordance with plans prepared by Barr Engineering.”

Description:  Letter of April 2, 2013 from Stephanie Handeland of MCPA to Andrea Hayden of Northshore Mining Company.


Notes:  “Re: Permit no MN0046981. MPCA working to protect wild rice resources – requesting company to gather info on wild rice waters downstream of mine pit dewatering discharges.”

Description:  Responses to Darren Vogt (tribal)

Notes:  “Re: Impact of Northshore Major Modification.”

Description:  Email between Andrea Hayden of Northshore Mining Co and Stephanie Handeland of MPCA.


Notes:  “Re: USFS easements & MPCA modifications.”

Description:  Emails re: MPCA approval of Barr Plands for Northshore Babbit WWTF project.


Description:  Barr Plans for Northshore Mining, Babbitt Mine WWTF.


Description:  Peter Mitchell Final EIS Docs


Description:  Meeting Notes, Northshore Mining Project 06-2012 – Tom Eastbrook MPCA, Duluth


Description:  David Richfield of MPCA to Tamara Cameron (US Army Corps) and Dan Wolf, Northshore Mining Co.


Notes:  Proposed Northshore Mining Company East Pit Mining Expansion.

Description:  Northshore East Pit Progression Project, Permitting Chronology Highlights.


Description:  Powerpoint of Cliffs Northshore Mine Process – Dan Wolf. March 22, 2012.


Notes:  “Effects of delayed certification will require more blasting.”

Description:  David Richfield of MPCA to Tamara Cameron of US Army Corps and Dan Wolf of Northshore Mining


Description:  “May issue 401 certification denial without prejudige for the short term with understanding that NMC can reply… may get authorization by end of Feb 2012.”

Mike Feist, MPCA to Gart Rott, MPCA


Description:  Biological assessment of Northshore Mining discharge.

Description:  Northshore Mining Company Stream Mitigation Project Development Communication Timeline


Description:  Map of “Duluth Complex Mineral Resources.”

Description:  “State and Federal Permits and Authorizations Anticipated for the Project.” MPCA; MNDNR; MDH; Minicipatl POTWs, Lake County, BLM.

Description:  Agenda of Bulk Sample Project – Technical Agency Meeting June 10, 2013.


Description:  List of monitoring equipment.

Description:  Map of “Birch Lake Underground Resource Drilling.”

Description:  Factsheet for National Pollutant Permit no MN0046981 (issued by state of MN MPCA).

Description:  List of water quality contacts for tribal communities.

Description:  Reissued draft permit public notice – City of Babbitt, MN – May 8, 2013


Notes: Recipients include Thomas Bakk, MN Senate – David Dill, MN House Representative – Editor, New Babbit Weekly News – Post Master, US Post Office, Babbitt MN.

Description:  “Draft Permit/Public Notice Business Systems Checklist.”

Description:  Email from Jeff Udd of MPCA to Linda Grand of MPCA, June 5, 2012.


Description:  Schematic of area 003 “Mine dewatering and crusher 2 facility discharges to Partridge R.”

Description:  Transmittal form for NPDES/SDS Permit Program, permit no MN0046981

Description:  Dan Wite MN0046981


Notes:  “No toxins to review.”

Description:  Meeting Notes, unlabled (written).


Description:  Email correspondence (MPCA) about mining expansion of east pit.

Description:  Barr Engineering – Stream Alternatives and Socioeconomic Analysis, East Pit Progression Project – Mar 29,2012.


Description:  Emails regarding “fill waters” under section 401 of Clean Water Act.

Description:  NPDES MN0046981 – Mine Pit and Potable Water Final Report