Federal Agencies Pan State Haze Plan

U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service officials are critical of Minnesota’s plans to regulate pollutants causing haze over the Quetico-Superior region.

The StarTribune has a comprehensive story HERE.

Acting Superior National Forest supervisor Tim Dabney and Susan Johnson, the acting chief of the NPS’s policy, planning, and permit review branch, say the state is being too lenient with polluters. The rare federal/state rift centers on an aspect of the Clean Air Act that calls for pristine air over places like Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The federal leaders voiced their concerns in a letter to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency whose citizens’ board meets on Tuesday, March 27, to discuss a pollution reduction plan that doesn’t compel electric utilities and taconite companies — the principal haze producers — to install the best available pollution controls.

The MPCA’s plan requires the taconite industry to use “good combustion practices” at the six plants where iron ore is processed into taconite. At five coal-fired power generating stations, state officials don’t require any additional plant-specific restrictions. The MPCA believes that pending regulations aimed at cutting haze in the eastern U.S. will cut haze in northeastern Minnesota as well.

The MPCA’s has a web page, HERE, that collects its documents relating to the haze plan.

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