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Pollution violation costs Cliffs over $300K

SILVER BAY, Minn. (AP) — Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has agreed to pay over $300,000 to settle a pollution violation at its Northshore Mining plant in Silver Bay.

Cliffs says the violation happened last year when the taconite plant transported alkaline runoff from its coal ash landfill to the wastewater treatment plant in Duluth. The pH of the runoff was above permissible levels, but Cliffs says it was processed without any damage to the treatment plant or harm to the environment.

In a statement Monday, Cliffs says it has agreed to pay the Minnesota Pollution Control agency a $242,973 civil penalty and contribute $75,000 toward an expansion of the household hazardous waste reuse center in Duluth. Cliffs also says it will make several improvements at the coal ash landfill for handling wastewater there.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.