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Commercial incinerator ban on the table Wednesday

Commercial waste incinerators would be banned in Cottage Grove under a zoning ordinance amendment city council members will consider Wednesday night.

The proposed amendment is a response to a push last year from 3M Co. to begin accepting waste not produced by the company for incineration at its 3M Cottage Grove facility.

The incinerator has been used for years to destroy 3M-manufactured chemical waste. Now, the company has said, it wants to burn outside waste at no charge to replace natural gas and other fuel oils being used to keep the incinerator operating at its required temperature.

City leaders have expressed fears that the amendments sought by 3M to its Minnesota Pollution Control Agency permits that govern the facility would allow the incinerator to become a commercial operation. Commercial incinerators, officials say, have less control over what chemicals are being burned. 3M has said it does not intend to turn the Cottage Grove incinerator into a commercial operation.