EPA to Consider if Central Minn. Power Plant Contributes to Northland Haze

Updated: 06/25/2014 12:13 PM
Created: 06/25/2014 10:24 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to consider whether pollution controls at Xcel Energy's Sherco power plant in central Minnesota are adequate for preventing haze over Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

The federal agency and several environmental groups have agreed on a proposed consent decree that obligates the EPA to take action on a finding from the National Park Service in 2009 that haze from the coal-fired Sherco plant impairs the views at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Park.

The EPA would have to propose a plan by Feb. 27 and finalize it by August 2015.

Xcel disputes that Sherco contributes to the haze over the national parks and the BWCA.  Sherco is near Becker in Sherburne County.

The consent decree requires a public comment period before it goes to a federal judge for approval.

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