Minnesota Regional Haze Plan

Under the Clean Air Act the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has promulgated regulations designed to improve visibility in our nation's largest national parks and wildernesses (Class I areas). The Regional Haze Rule is found in 40 CFR part 51.308.

Minnesota has two Class I areas - the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. In addition, emissions from Minnesota contribute to visibility impairment in Michigan's Isle Royale National Park.

States are responsible for developing a Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) that identifies sources that cause or contribute to visibility impairment, includes control strategies for those sources and Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) determinations for certain older emission sources, and makes a demonstration of reasonable progress toward reaching visibility goals.

The Minnesota Regional Haze SIP was submitted to U.S. EPA on December 30, 2009. A Supplemental SIP containing additional information was submitted to the EPA on May 8, 2012.

This shows the view from the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness visibility monitor. The left side shows the view on “good” days. The left side illustrates visibility conditions on average for the 20 percent best days. The right side shows what the view looks like on average on the 20 percent worst days in BWCA as a result of higher levels of fine particles.
This photo shows the view from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness visibility monitor. The left side illustrates visibility conditions on average for the 20 percent best days. The right side shows what the view looks like on average on the 20 percent worst days in BWCA as a result of higher levels of fine particles. View current conditions in the BWCA.

Minnesota's Regional Haze SIP

The MPCA submitted its Five-Year Regional Haze Progress Report SIP Revision in December 2014. The progress report outlines the status of required Regional Haze SIP elements and documents Minnesota’s determination that its current Regional Haze SIP is adequate and requires no further substantive revision to achieve 2018 visibility goals.

In order to complete the Regional Haze SIP process, the MPCA has prepared a Supplemental Regional Haze SIP which was submitted to the EPA in May 2012.

Below are several documents that make up Minnesota's original Regional Haze SIP submittal, as sent to EPA in December 2009. The documents are divided into smaller files for easier downloading.

Implementation

The Regional Haze SIP includes a concept plan focusing on major sources in Northeast Minnesota as one part of its long term strategy for improving visibility. As part of the Northeast Minnesota Plan, the MPCA has committed to annually tracking emissions from subject sources.

Information Used in Developing the SIP

Stakeholder and Public Meetings

BART-related information

NOTE: These BART analyses were performed by the facility and were submitted in Sept. 2006. MPCA staff have not yet assessed whether the analyses follow the BART Analysis Guidance. Modeling results are contained in the analyses, however, detailed modeling files submitted by the facility are not posted here.

Technical information

Links to other regional haze resource

Regional Haze Plan contacts