Northshore Mining Company will pay almost $12,000 in penalties for two air pollution violations at the company's Silver Bay taconite plant.
The MPCA says the plant exceeded permitted levels of particulate emissions in late 2008 and 2009. The violations were traced to a furnace stack scrubber and a coal storage area. Parent company Cliffs Natural Resources has agreed to complete corrective action.
MPCA Compliance Coordinator Bob Beresford said the high emissions from a taconite furnace may have resulted from a short term failure.
"Our belief is that there's a good chance that the furnace 5 test failure that occurred was not real typical operating conditions and that the unit may have returned to compliant emission rates," Beresford said.
Cliffs Natural Resources Spokeswoman Maureen Talarico said both issues will be resolved.
"Cliffs Natural Resources takes its commitment to the environment very seriously and we've thoroughly investigated both [incidents]," Talarico said.