Cottage Grove won't attempt to block 3M incinerator planThe city of Cottage Grove won’t attempt to block 3M Co.’s proposal to burn hazardous from outside the company at its incinerator in the city, City Council members said –- but it won’t support the plan, either, council members have made clear.
The city of Cottage Grove won’t attempt to block 3M Co.’s proposal to burn hazardous waste from outside the company at its incinerator in the city, City Council members said last week – but it won’t support the plan, either, council members have made clear.
With no permitting authority, there’s nothing the city can do to stop 3M’s plan to supplement its own hazardous waste solvents with those from an outside source, city officials have conceded, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency officials said earlier this month there is nothing in the company’s proposed permit amendments to stop them from approving the change.
But in approving the city’s official comments on the plan to state and federal environmental and pollution control officials, some council members reiterated they would rather the company drop the proposal despite the 2010 agreement between 3M and Cottage Grove that stipulated the city would no longer formally oppose it.
“I want to state unequivocally that I do not support [3M burning outside waste],” said council member Justin Olsen after he asked to amend the comment letters by removing a sentence declaring the city’s support for the permit amendments. The council voted 4-1 to approve the amended letters, with council member Derrick Lehrke dissenting.
“I feel like my hands are tied, [like] there is not a whole lot I can do about it,” Olsen continued. “But I sure as hell don’t support it.”
Cottage Grove submitted letters of comment on the proposed permit amendments to the MPCA, Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington County, which oversees hazardous waste regulations. The pollution control agency’s public comment period on the permits closed Monday.
A state board will consider the incinerator proposal at a May 22 hearing.
In the letters, the city requests a further reduction in emissions limits at the incinerator, which pollution control officials have said pollutes far below the maximum levels allowed under federal and state regulations. The city is also seeking increased random testing of the facility and more frequent tests of emissions directly from the incinerator stack.