United States Steel Corporation Takes Legal Action Against Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

22 February 2017

United States Steel Corporation today announced it has filed a Writ of Mandamus (Mandamus claim) against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).  The Mandamus claim is related to issues surrounding the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) water permit for the company's Minnesota Ore Operations Minntac facility, an iron ore mining and pelletizing operation in Mt. Iron, Minn.

A Mandamus claim is a legal action which asks a judge to require the MPCA take action on a specific request.  In this case, U. S. Steel is asking MPCA to complete work on several long-standing issues that directly impact Minntac's NPDES permit, which the company has been actively working to renew with MPCA since 1992.  If these issues are not resolved, U. S. Steel could be required to make significant and unnecessary capital investments in Minntac that could put the facility at a competitive disadvantage, threatening the future viability of the operations and the jobs employed at the operation.

"U. S. Steel has worked cooperatively and successfully with Minnesota's elected leadership on many issues over the years, but we believe filing a Mandamus claim was our only option in this situation," said U. S. Steel Minnesota Ore Operations General Manager Larry Sutherland.  "We felt compelled to take this course of action to ensure specific issues we've raised in the past – and MPCA has acknowledged the need to address – are fully resolved so they can be incorporated into our NPDES permit renewal.  We recognize the time and resources MPCA needs to do their jobs effectively, and we agree that matters related to our shared environment should be determined by thorough, thoughtful due diligence and scientific evidence.  We believe completion of the specific issues raised in our Mandamus claim will ensure the preservation of the environment and the competitiveness of Minnesota's iron ore mining industry."

"U. S. Steel remains firmly committed to our core value of environmental stewardship, and we've proven that by investing more than $100 million in environmental activities at Minntac in the last 10 years," said U. S. Steel General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President – Government Affairs Suzanne Rich Folsom.  "Our actions today reflect our desire to continue working with MPCA in pursuit of a common goal: doing what's right for the environment without causing unnecessary harm to the state's economy."

United States Steel Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a leading integrated steel producer and Fortune 250 company with major operations in the United States and Central Europe.  For more information about U. S. Steel, please visit www.ussteel.com.