Jimmy Lovrien / Forum News Service
DULUTH — U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-St. Paul, wants the U.S. Forest Service to complete a study on the environmental effects of Twin Metals’ controversial copper-nickel mine proposed near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness before the project can move forward.
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- In the early morning hours of April 26, 2018, workers at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior were preparing for a planned shutdown to allow for routine maintenance throughout the facility. Beginning at 5:40 a.m., crews started shutting down the fluid catalytic cracking unit where crude oil is distilled into gasoline and other products. For over four hours, a valve meant to keep air and flammable hydrocarbons in separate chambers within the cracking unit was closed.
DULUTH -- Cleveland-Cliffs agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty for air quality violations at its United Taconite processing facility in Forbes, where, as part of the settlement, the mining company is also spending nearly $489,000 on new pollution-control equipment.
DULUTH -- Speaking to the International Union of Operating Engineers in Crosby, Texas, last week, President Donald Trump announced a pair of executive orders meant to expedite embattled pipeline projects. “Nobody in the world can do what you folks do, and we’re going to make it easier for you,” Trump said Wednesday, April 10. He added later, “My action today will cut through destructive permitting delays and denials.”
Husky Energy said it will continue to use hydrogen fluoride at its Superior refinery. In an announcement posted to its website Wednesday morning, April 3, the Calgary-based oil company said it would continue to use the potentially dangerous chemical in the refining process at its Superior refinery, but would add additional safety features. The evacuations during the April 26, 2018, explosion and fire were based on hydrogen fluoride release concerns, but no hydrogen fluoride was released during the incident.
ST. PAUL - One of Enbridge’s oil pipelines running through the Fond du Lac Reservation could soon be relocated underground. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday, March 28, accepted an application submitted last month by the Calgary-based company detailing a plan to take 10 miles of the existing Line 4 through the reservation, which currently sits above grade but under a mound of soil, and completely move it below grade.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission again on Tuesday, March 26, stood by its decisions to permit Enbridge’s contentious Line 3 oil pipeline in northern Minnesota. In late June, the Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted in favor of granting the project a certificate of need, but requested Enbridge make additional compliance filings, or modifications, to its plan while also requiring the company to pledge $100 million for economic opportunities to tribal members and businesses.
PolyMet on Thursday, March 21, received the last permit it needs for the contentious copper-nickel mine it’s planning near Hoyt Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced approval of a wetlands permit allowing PolyMet to discharge dredged and fill material into over 900 acres of wetlands as the company develops and builds its mine. The Corps said the project would avoid 500 acres of wetlands that PolyMet had requested in its original proposal.
DULUTH — A vintage Duluth postcard shows beachgoers sunbathing on the sandy shores of Park Point as others wade into Lake Superior. The red mercury on a thermometer hovers at 70 degrees. “Come to Duluth,” the card reads. “The air-conditioned city.” Other tourism materials from that era capitalize on Duluth’s proximity to the always-chilly Lake Superior. One brochure proclaims Duluth as “America’s coolest summer city.”
BISMARCK -- Rep. Marvin Nelson got a face full of glass but no broken bones after his van struck a moose on Friday night, Feb. 15. The Democrat from Rolla picked up his granddaughters in Jamestown and was heading home when he spotted a moose in the ditch south of Rocklake in northern North Dakota. A moment after Nelson safely passed the moose and was feeling relieved, he encountered a second moose in the middle of Highway 281. “There was a big one standing right there with no place to go,” Nelson recalled Monday from his desk in the House chambers.