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MPCA to develop plan to cut haze over BWCA, Voyageurs

New rules are likely to affect emissions at power plants and taconite plants. Those are the leading culprits in the haze over the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is scheduled to release its plan in March.
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New rules are likely to affect emissions at power plants and taconite plants. Those are the leading culprits in the haze over the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is scheduled to release its plan in March.

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State approves plan to cut haze over BWCA, sends it to feds

The Pollution Control Agency is forwarding its plan to cut the haze over federal lands in northeastern Minnesota to the Environmental Protection Agency. The plan would tighten emissions rules at taconite processing plants and coal-fired power plants. Some environmental groups think the changes don't go far enough.

Citizens panel aims for tougher rules to cut down on BWCA haze

The citizens board for the state Pollution Control Agency votes this week on whether to back tougher emissions restrictions for coal power plants and taconite processors. Environmental groups say rules adopted by the state in 2009 do next to nothing to cut down on hazy smog in Minnesota's most pristine wilderness areas.

Pollution agency delays decision on BWCA haze plan

A Minnesota Pollution Control Agency citizens board put off a decision on dealing with hazy skies in northern Minnesota to give a mining company time to negotiate.

No luck needed to visit the BWCA

The U.S. Forest Service announced an end to the long-running lottery for entry into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The 1.1 million-acre wilderness will now accept entry applications on a first-come, first-served basis

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.

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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved water quality permits needed for the expansion of the U.S. Steel plant. The $300 million expansion is estimated to create 500 construction jobs followed by 120 permanent jobs.

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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.

Take caution if you see haze or smell smoke

Pollution officials say they're hearing reports of heavy smoke and ash in parts of northern Minnesota. If you see haze or smell smoke, you should stay indoors and keep activity to a minimum.