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Hibtac fined for air-quality violations

Hibbing Taconite Co. has agreed to pay a $15,250 civil penalty for air-quality violations at its taconite- production facility, and the company has agreed to take actions to return the facility to compliance, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agenc...

Hibbing Taconite Co. has agreed to pay a $15,250 civil penalty for air-quality violations at its taconite-

production facility, and the company has agreed to take actions to return the facility to compliance, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced Thursday.

According to the PCA, the company's monitoring reports for its wet scrubber pollution-control device documented many violations in late 2010 of its allowed air emissions under the plant's operating permit. Other data showed that the unit failed a performance test in January this year.

The PCA said the unit was retested in February and was in compliance.

Company officials said the problem may have been in the monitoring effort and not in actual pollution control. "A substantial body of emissions testing data leads us to believe that during that time the scrubbers were operating properly, and were maintaining compliance with emission limits,'' a company statement noted Thursday.

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