EPA, taconite industry spar over air pollution regulation

A plan to reduce pollution from taconite plants in northern Minnesota has industry officials up in arms. The Environmental Protection Agency has stepped in to regulate sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emmissions, a job state agencies have not been able to enforce. Taconite industry officials say the tougher regulations are unavailable and too-expensive.
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stepped in to enforce regulation of Minnesota's taconite industry due to major air pollution in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park, MPR News reports. The federal government is bound by a court agreement to approve a plan to reduce the haze by Nov. 15.

Taconite industry officials say the EPA wants them to adopt unavailable, untested and too-expensive technology, according to the Star Tribune.

U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack tells the Associated Press that the EPA's tough standards could devastate Minnesota's mining industry and cost jobs. The EPA will hold a public meeting on the matter Aug. 29 in St. Paul.

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Federal regulators say Minn. taconite plants must cut emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is imposing new air pollution regulations for the taconite industry in northern Minnesota that go beyond state regulations. The Duluth News Tribune reports the new federal rules require plants to install technology to reduce smokestack emissions that cause haze and lung ailments.

Cravaack slams new federal air pollution rules

U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack says new emissions standards enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency are a threat to Minnesota's mining industry. The rules are aimed at reducing the haze over northeastern Minnesota. Cravaack calls them an assault on jobs and says the federal government should let the state enforce pollution rules.

MPCA approves plan to dump taconite in lake to control weeds

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency signed off on a plan to dump more than 13 tons of taconite concentrate into Rush Lake. The lake association wants to reduce the level of phosphorus, which leads to growth of algae and invasive pondweed. It hopes the taconite experiment will do the trick. Audubon Minnesota had argued for an environmental review.

EPA considers new clean-air regulations that could cost Minnesota consumers

The federal agency is mulling new stricter standards for fine particles and ground-level ozone, and the state would have to respond with new strategies to meet them, some of which almost certainly will cost state residents more money. Those could include requiring more expensive reformulated gasoline at pumps and adding regulatory layers on businesses.