We invite you to comment on the draft Regional Haze State Implementation Plan that Minnesota needs to submit to the EPA.
We have made steady progress in reducing nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions that form particulates that contribute to regional haze at the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs. In the past 20 years, Minnesota has reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by 71% and sulfur dioxide by 89% because of strict emission controls and technology improvements.
The new draft plan continues our efforts to reduce regional haze and analyzes additional emission reductions for facilities in Minnesota. The emission reduction measures include retiring older, high-polluting equipment, using existing pollution controls, and creating new, non-binding emission targets that will reduce combined nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by 30% by 2025 and 40% by 2028.
Based on these emission reductions, Minnesota will improve visibility to 13.4 deciviews - or 58 miles of visibility- for the Boundary Waters and 13.6 deciviews – or 57 miles of visibility - for Voyageurs on the days with the worst haze conditions.
A State Implementation Plan is a collection of regulations and documents used by a state, territory, or local air district to implement, maintain, and enforce the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and other requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. The State Implementation Plan identifies existing facilities that cause or contribute to visibility impairment; analyzes, identifies, and applies federally enforceable control strategies for those sources; and periodically demonstrates reasonable progress toward reaching visibility goals. In Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wildnerness have been identified as areas for addressing regional haze.
The public will have an opportunity to ask the MPCA questions about the State Implementation Plan during a public information meeting on Thursday, September 22, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at MPCA St. Paul office. The meeting can also be joined online via Microsoft Teams. Check our State Implementation Plan webpage for meeting details.
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