EPA rules target BWCA, Voyageurs hazeby Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
DULUTH, Minn. — The Environmental Protection Agency has issued final rules aimed at cutting air pollution from Minnesota's taconite plants that contribute to haze over the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks.
The plan requires six taconite facilities on the Iron Range, and one in northern Michigan, to install new equipment to limit the release of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. Last year the EPA said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plan didn't do enough to reduce haze.
"Our initial review of the plan indicates that the EPA plan takes a different route to get to a very similar place that we believe the MPCA's plan that was submitted in May of 2012 would get to, to seek these emission reductions," said Frank Kohlasch, who manages the MPCA's air assessment section.
Kevin Ruether, legal director with the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy welcomes the new plan.
"Generally we're really pleased that EPA is finally requiring taconite to clean up," Ruether said.
The plan gives taconite facilities 26 months to install the new equipment. A spokeswoman for Cliffs Natural Resources, which operates three of Minnesota's plants, said the company is still reviewing the plan to see how it will affect operations.