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Taconite DreamsThe Struggle to Sustain Mining on Minnesota's Iron Range, 1915-2000$
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Jeffrey T. Manuel

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816694297

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816694297.001.0001

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Taconite Bites Back

Taconite Bites Back

The Reserve Mining Pollution Trial and the Environmental Challenge to Industry

Chapter:
(p.85) Three Taconite Bites Back
Source:
Taconite Dreams
Author(s):

Jeffrey T. Manuel

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816694297.003.0003

Chapter three describes the major pollution lawsuit that affected the mining region, Reserve Mining Company v. USA. I argue that the trial must be understood within the context of taconite's development as a technological fix for decline on the Iron Range. Taconite's technological and engineering feats were only possible because they shifted costs onto the environment. When those costs could no longer be ignored—as when spreading taconite tailings began discoloring Lake Superior—people reassessed industrial development. For many miners, the case was also their first glimpse of the new environmental movement that would challenge their livelihood.

Keywords:   Reserve Mining Company v USA, taconite, Iron Range, mining history, Lake Superior, north woods environment, industrial development

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