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Seven named to CG Environmental Task Force

Cottage Grove City Council members on Wednesday appointed seven residents to the newly-formed Environmental Task Force that will begin meeting to discuss the 3M incinerator proposal early next month.

The council unanimously approved the appointments two weeks after officials delayed the process due to a lack of applicants. City officials said initially they were seeking individuals with technical expertise or knowledge of environmental health issues; city administrator Ryan Schroeder said that may have led to the lack of interest in the environmental group.

The seven residents who will comprise the task force are: Christopher Lethgo, an engineer with Xcel Energy; Matthew Porett, a senior vice president with Avenet Web Solutions; Patrick McLoughlin, an archaeologist with the United States Department of Agriculture; Patrick Lynch, a process specialist with Marathon Petroleum Company; Matthew Loyas, a water resource technician with the Capitol Region Watershed District; Rita Isker, vice president of USW Local 11-00418; and Barbara Gibson, a 3M Occupational and Environmental Medicine physician.

First on the group's agenda will be the tabled 3M proposal to begin burning non-3M produced hazardous waste in its Cottage Grove incinerator. City officials' unyielding opposition to the permitting change the company sought led to the formation of the Environmental Task Force that will also study emissions issues in the city as a whole.

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