HOYT LAKES — Mesabi Nugget officials recently had a one-way conversation with the Environmental Protection Agency, which the general manager of the plant near Hoyt Lakes said is all too familiar and all too burdensome to all mining operations on the Range.

At a gathering of local officials Friday afternoon in Hoyt Lakes where concerns and frustrations over federal and state environmental regulations were aired, Jeff Hansen said Mesabi Nugget just recently received a Section 114 EPA demand to return information in 26 different areas, which includes internal memos.

No reason or reasons were given for seeking the information, Hansen said. “We have the authority to request information,” was the wording of the document sent the Mesabi Nugget.

The company was given 21 days to return the information requested. Hansen said legal counsel is looking into the issue.

“It’s terribly time consuming and we don’t even know the purpose,” said Hansen, who added “the federal and state government agencies are too big and too powerful.”

Republican 8th District U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack said the EPA is just “playing gotcha” with the Mesabi Nugget request, who added that agency workers “have nothing better to do than harass business and workers.”

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