The thick haze caused by smoke from more than 100 Canadian wildfires is causing unhealthy air quality conditions across a large part of Minnesota. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reports that the air quality is rated unhealthy for everyone from a large part of northwestern Minnesota, including Detroit Lakes, extending down to Brainerd and St. Cloud toward the Twin Cities suburbs.
A haze is blanketing much of the Midwest as strong winds carry smoke from forest fires in Canada thousands of miles to the south. National Weather Service forecasters say Tuesday that smoke from wildfires in northern Saskatchewan is blowing as far south as Tennessee. A thick band of smoke extends through much of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.
The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to consider whether pollution controls at Xcel Energy’s Sherco power plant are adequate for cutting haze over two national parks and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The federal agency and six environmental groups filed a proposed consent decree Tuesday that obligates the EPA to take action on a 2009 National Park Service finding that haze from the coal-fired plant near Becker impairs the views at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota and Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. The consent decree would settle a lawsuit the groups filed in 2012.
Federal regulators have issued final regulations aimed at reducing pollution from taconite processing plants that causes haze over northern Minnesota’s wild areas including Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, as well as Isle Royal National Park in Michigan.
Clean air advocates are suing the Environmental Protection Agency, seeking an order to require the EPA to mandate that Xcel Energy install the best available technology to reduce emissions at Minnesota’s biggest power plant.
The citizens board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is taking another crack at approving rules meant to cut the haze that sometimes clouds the views at Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
The haze that you can see in parts of the Twin Cities metro area Friday afternoon is coming from up north, according to a meteorologist.
A Delta flight about to take off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was stopped due to haze seen in the cabin, said airport spokesman Pat Hogan.