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Group wants more review of 3M Co.'s burner plan

A group opposed to a 3M Co. plan to burn hazardous waste generated outside the company at its Cottage Grove incinerator has filed a petition with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency requesting a full environmental review of the four-decade-old burner.

Pollution control officials are considering amendments to the company's incinerator permits that would allow 3M to begin burning waste that originated outside its production process as a supplement to its own stream of hazardous chemicals from across North America that are destroyed in the incinerator.

Hoping to force further environmental review of the plan, the Coalition of Concerned Cottage Grove Citizens -- a group of residents who have fought the plan since it was first announced in 2009 -- said this week it had filed a petition containing more than 450 signatures to the agency requesting it complete an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW). That worksheet is designed to disclose any potentially negative environmental impacts from a proposed facility.

The MPCA hosted an informational open house Tuesday evening in Cottage Grove. Check back with Wednesday for more on that meeting.

3M and state pollution control officials have said there will be a minimal increase in emissions under the changes proposed.

An MPCA official said Tuesday the agency would have a formal response to the petition by next Monday.

State pollution control officials are accepting public comment on the proposed permit amendments until April 23 and a hearing before a state board is expected to render a judgment on the amendments in late May.