Appeals court rules DNR's iron mine impact study followed lawby Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has agreed with a lower court that the DNR followed the law preparing environmental studies for a steel plant in Itasca County.
The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy was challenging the adequacy of the environmental impact statement for Essar Steel's iron mine and steel plant near Nashwauk.
The group said the EIS failed to address the impact of the project's greenhouse gas emissions on climate change, but the court says the DNR did consider global warming and followed state law.
MCEA Director Kevin Reuther said he doesn't like the court's decision.
"I think the bigger picture here is that the court endorsed the idea that when we're doing big projects like this, the state agencies that review them should look at the greenhouse gas emissions and the climate change consequences of continuing to increase greenhouse gas emissions," Reuther said.
Reuther says his organization hasn't yet decided whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
There were no official comments available from Essar Steel or the DNR, which approved Essar's environmental studies two years ago.
Construction is now underway on the $1.6 billion project.