The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park will both get added protection from haze under a new ruling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to the EPA, the regulations should reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by about 22,000 tons per year and sulfur dioxide emissions by about 2,000 tons.
An article on CBS Minnesota explained that the rule will affect all six taconite operations in Minnesota and one operation on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by requiring them to install expensive new equipment to curb the release of both gases. The companies will have to meet those standards within 18 to 26 months–that’s an extension from the deadline in the proposed rule reviewed in August of 2012, but still worrisome to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
According to the article, MPCA representatives have been quoted indicating that they support the direction the EPA is heading with the ruling but question the method and timing. The EPA, however, stepped in after assessing MPCA’s plan as not going far enough. Read the full article HERE.
When implemented, the January rule is expected to reduce haze and improve visibility on most days in the BWCAW and Voyageurs.