Suit says feds must curb air pollution over natural areas

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 5, 2012 - 9:18 PM

Environmentalists want stricter emissions rules for Xcel's Sherburne County plant, saying the haze fouls the air in the North Woods.

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solarnowDec. 5, 12 5:43 PM

Important to note that while visible haze over a national park is the legal lever being used here, the tiny particles in the atmosphere that cause the haze is really bad for your lungs and heart. And you don't have to go to Voyageurs to have the stuff kill you.

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jbhall56Dec. 6, 12 6:35 AM

While Sherburne is an easy and obvious target, it's probably not as much of the problem as the coal fired plants located in India, China and other countries that have little or no environmental laws. People don't realize how far emissions can travel given weather and wind patterns. Until everyone controls their emissions, going after just one particular plant is like going after only one car's emissions to control smog.

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tpawdemocratDec. 6, 12 7:03 AM

This is fascinating. If Xcel spends the $340 million on the emissions control equipment the environmental groups are asking them to, ratepayers pay for that, Xcel earns a rate of return on the $340 million, and the operating life of Sherco is extended for another 20 years or so. Increased rates and another 20 years of greenhouse gas emissions. Fascinating.

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ranger78Dec. 6, 12 7:15 AM

Let's be honest, this suit has nothing to do with haze over wild areas. It has everything to do with demonizing coal and making the use of coal as difficult and expensive as possible.

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eddie55431Dec. 6, 12 7:20 AM

Yea, we are going to have to replace all our nasty fossil fuel electricity with clean renewable fuels. Of course, there won't be any solar or wind electricity on calm nights, but that just means we won't be able to turn on the Internet to read the latest EPA overkill rules.....so maybe that's not all bad.

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cathdadto3Dec. 6, 12 8:06 AM

solarnow, The point of 'haze' rules is that the particulates themselves don't meet the minimum EPA requirements so they rather choose to regulate the 'visual' pollution. The bottom line is that every person that pays a utility bill (i.e. everybody who isn't homeless) pays for the vast overreaching by the EPA. The fact that the EPA can use past laws to create far reaching new 'rules' without legislative approval is a bad, bad development it the bureaucratic totalitarianism in this country. Why bother voting if unelected officials are going to make up their own laws?

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bosshogDec. 6, 12 9:26 AM

Why anyone would downvote what solarnow stated is beyond me. You like breathing in polluted air that is especially difficult for the elderly or those with compromised health? What about the thousands of premature deaths in the US every year directly due to emissions from coal burning power plants? It's sad how selfish people can be here.

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eastrangeDec. 11, 12 5:39 AM

To be fair, we all use the electricity from coal plants of which we have an abundant and cheap natural resource. If we are going to carbon tax everything to generate tax revenue let's start with all the cars in the Twin Cities area. Redistribute that income to all of the cities effected in the areas near these wilderness areas. Socialism is great at resdistributing money, we won't have any jobs when the mines close due to the EPA and our cities will need the Local Government Aid. We sure will feel better giving the shaft to our fellow citizens though won't we? If we are going to be unintelligent about this, it should affect everyone.

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