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EPA Finalizes Air Rules for Taconite Plants

Posted at: 01/16/2013 1:46 PM

The EPA issued a Federal Implementation Plan to set air pollution standards for six taconite facilities in Minnesota and one in Michigan.

This plan will reduce pollutants that are harmful to people's health and impair visibility in national parks and wilderness areas.

As directed by Congress, EPA is setting emission limits based on cost-effective control measures to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions at these taconite facilities.

EPA is also establishing associated compliance requirements, including a requirement to install and operate continuous air emission monitoring systems.

EPA's action will improve air quality by reducing NOX emissions by about 22,000 tons per year and by reducing SO2 emissions by about 2,000 tons per year.

Protecting visibility in Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and other pristine areas in the Upper Peninsula will benefit Michigan's tourism industry, which contributes nearly $12 billion to the state economy each year.

Similarly, protecting visibility in Voyageurs National Park, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and other pristine areas along the North Shore will benefit Minnesota's tourism industry, which contributes nearly $10 billion to the state economy each year.