A key decision should be made on Oct. 1 on a controversial proposal by Northern Metals to amend its air permit to allow more pollution emissions at its upper riverfront metal shredder.
That’s the day the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has scheduled a special meeting at 9 a.m. of its citizen board to determine whether an environmental assessment completed by the company is adequate. If the board makes that determination, the amendment would go on the board’s Oct. 23 agenda for a decision. If the board thinks further studies are warranted, it would order an environmental impact statement, deferring the issue for months.
A staff recommendation to be board is expected to be released later this month after a public comment period ends Monday.
The agency also has scheduled a second community meeting to discuss air emission modeling and the draft permit. The new meeting will be held on Sept. 25, tentatively from 6:30-9 p.m., at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Rd. N.    
The agency also said it has established a dedicated web page for the issue.     
Northern Metal Recycling has asked the state to amend its permit to raise some pollution limits on shredder emissions, loosen restrictions on what materials may be shredded and reduce the frequency of pollution testing. It put the long-debated shredder in operation in 2009, but the machine's air emissions quickly exceeded the limits set by the state in its permit.