BECKER -- State officials say air quality test results are in from downwind of the Northern Metal Recycling facility fire in Becker. And, they show no signs of metals and low levels of particulates, such as dust and ash, in the air.

 

Becker Police Chief Brent Baloun says contractors with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have been doing air quality testing. Those tests show that the air quality in Becker, Big Lake and the surrounding area is similar to locations in other parts of the state.

None of the tests detected the presence of harmful chemicals in the air at locations affected by the fire, including Becker and Big Lake schools.

The MPCA is not planning to conduct any additional tests.

Northern Metal has hired a private company to fight the fire, which has been reduced to a few smoldering spots and could be extinguished by the end of the week, Baloun said.

State officials moved to shut down the recycling facility where a fire started Tuesday and burned for days, citing "imminent and substantial danger" to the public. The MPCA  issued an administrative order prohibiting Northern Metal Recycling from accepting any scrap metal at the plant.

The company says it "strongly objects" to the agency's decision.

On Friday, Governor Tim Walz said he is considering placing a 30-day hold on Northern Metal's recycling permit.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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