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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.
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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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