MPCA Board Approves Haze Rules

The citizens’ board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved a controversial set of rules intended to reduce the amount of haze over northern Minnesota.

The Duluth News-Tribune has the story HERE.

The board, which oversees the MPCA, voted unanimously to send the rules to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for their final approval.  The rules are intended to reduce haze over the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks, where air quality thresholds are the highest.

The haze in the region comes mainly from nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emitted by the state’s power plants and taconite facilities.

The approved rules were a less stringent that those originally proposed, with changes coming after Cliff Natural Resources, which operates three taconite plans in northern Minnesota, asked for changes.

Environmental advocates and the U.S. Forest Service and National Parks Service argued that even the original rules would not do enough to reduce haze in the area.

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