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Recommendation on 3M incinerator proposal could come Tuesday

The Cottage Grove task force that has scrutinized 3M's proposal to begin burning non company-produced chemical waste at its Cottage Grove incinerator will present its report on the plan Tuesday night and could deliver a recommendation on how the city should proceed, one city official has said.

Cottage Grove's Task Force on the Environment will discuss a menu options on how to recommend city council members address the proposal, said community development director Howard Blin, one of two staff liaisons to the group.

Blin said the task force could vote on a recommendation at Tuesday's meeting.

City Council members would discuss the recommendation as early as next week's council meeting.

City leaders last spring firmly opposed 3M's proposed amendments to the company's Minnesota Pollution Control permits governing the corporate incinerator at 3M Cottage Grove.

Company officials want to begin accepting non-3M produced chemical waste to be burned in the Cottage Grove incinerator as a replacement for natural gas and fuel oil burned currently to supplement the company's own waste.

3M says the supplemental fuels are needed because the company's production of chemical wastes like solvents have dropped.

Many of the city's concerns have centered on fears of the incinerator becoming a commercial operation; 3M officials have repeatedly denied that claim.