Taconite Air Emission and Haze Debate Continues

By KBJR News 1

Taconite Air Emission and Haze Debate Continues

September 3, 2012 Updated Sep 3, 2012 at 4:26 PM CST

(Northland's NewsCenter) --- The ongoing air pollution haze debate continues between Minnesota and the federal government.

Taconite facilities on the Iron Range may face a major challenge in November when the federal government decides whether to beef up air pollution control regulations.

Emissions from taconite plants sometimes cause haze in the Boundary Water's Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyaguers National Park.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's plan to reduce emissions calls on the taconite industry to use best practices, and operate furnaces efficiently and cleanly.

Meanwhile, the EPA is considering requiring a new type of low emission burner for taconite pellet furnaces.

U.S. Steel's Minntac plant in Mt.Iron has already tried out a new burner that would reduce emissions by up to 70 percent.

However, companies that run other mines on the range say they do not think the new burners will work in their plants.

According to our partners at Minnesota Public Radio, the EPA decided in a meeting last week, that the state's plan is not enough and will take more time to study the federal plan.

The federal government must approve a plan by Nov. 15

Jennifer Walch
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