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MDEQ moves on rule to limit sulfur dioxide in pollution hotspot

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The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is moving forward on a new rule to cut air pollution in part of Wayne County.

The rule will limit sulfur dioxide emissions from two US Steel facilities. They’re in southwest Detroit and two downriver suburbs deemed in “non-attainment” of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Barb Rosenbaum is with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality division.

She says the agency is still working on a larger sulfur dioxide attainment plan for that area, after getting feedback on an initial draft.

“We received a number of comments saying that it didn’t go far enough, [that] it did not sufficiently reduce emissions,” Rosenbaum said.

Rosenbaum says the final pieces of that plan should be ready “soon.”

“We’re seeking additional reductions from [two DTE coal-fired] power plants in the vicinity that are also major contributors,” she said.

The DEQ was supposed to have submitted the sulfur dioxide attainment plan to the US Environmental Protection Agency almost a year ago.

A state legislative committee still needs to approve the new emissions rule for US Steel.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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