News release: DNR accepting comments on environmental review of Mile Post 7 West Ridge Railroad relocation, dam extensions and stream mitigation project

April 18, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments through  May 18 on an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for a proposed project at Northshore Mining’s Mile Post 7 tailings basin.

The project would relocate the West Ridge Railroad, extend Dam 1 and Dam 2, construct a new rail switchback, develop a clay borrow site, and conduct stream mitigation at six sites near the town of Beaver Bay in Lake County.

The stream mitigation would be required because of impacts from the proposed dam construction and railway relocation. The mitigation would stabilize stream channels, restore floodplain connectivity, and improve aquatic habitat for approximately 20,665 linear feet of stream.

A copy of the EAW is available on the project page of the DNR website.

A hard copy may be requested by calling 651-259-5126. Hard copies of the Environmental Assessment Worksheet are available for public review at Silver Bay Public Library, 9 Davis Drive, Silver Bay, MN 55614. The EAW notice was published in the April 18 Environmental Quality Board Monitor.

Comments on the EAW must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. Mailed comments should be sent to the attention of Bill Johnson, EAW Project Manager, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, Box 25, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025. Electronic or email comments may be sent to [email protected] with “Mile Post 7 Stream EAW” in the subject line.

People who submit comments will receive a copy of the decision document, which includes responses to comments. Because all comments and related information are part of the public record for this environmental review, commenters’ names and email or postal addresses will be published and publicly available as they appear in the materials they submit. 

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