The state of Minnesota and an environmental group will argue in court today about whether the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources did a good enough job of identifying the likely impacts of a proposed steel mill on the Iron Range.
The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy's legal director, Kevin Reuther, said the study ignored state law requiring reductions of greenhouse gases.
"We can't just stick our heads in the sand and pretend this significant environmental impact is not happening, we know it's happening, and so you have to start looking at greenhouse gas emissions, and getting project proponents to look at ways of reducing those emissions," he said.
Assistant DNR Commissioner Larry Kramka disagrees.
"[The study] considered global climate change at the time to the best of what we thought the state of the art was," Kramka said.
Kramka said back in 2005 and 2006, when the study was done, scientists didn't know enough about climate change to predict specific effects from the plant's operations.
It's expected to emit between three and five million tons of carbon dioxide a year.