By Michele Bourdieu
Railroad ties, one of the fuel sources used in the L'Anse Warden Electric Co. power plant, are stacked near the plant in L'Anse. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality dust wipes taken east of the plant have been analyzed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and found to contain pentachlorophenol, a wood preservative used in railroad ties, as well as multiple metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. According to the EPA's new Web site on the L'Anse Warden Plant, at this time EPA doesn’t have enough information to determine whether the levels found in the dust wipes were excessive or could cause health problems. Additional investigation is needed to determine risks to the community.* (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Horst Schmidt)
L'ANSE -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 recently posted a Web site with information on the L'Anse Warden Electric Company (LWEC) to provide publicly available information on EPA's Clean Air Act investigation of the LWEC.*
EPA is working closely with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to investigate L'Anse area residents’ concerns about odors and fugitive dust coming from the LWEC plant, address potential health risks and determine compliance with environmental regulations.
In an April 1, 2016, letter to Linda Rulison, president of FOLK (Friends of the Land of Keweenaw), Molly Smith, U.S. EPA Region 5 environmental scientist (Air Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, MI/WI Section), states, "At this time we would like to draw your attention to some new information that became available this week. MDEQ, at the request of EPA, collected dust wipe samples at four locations in the L’Anse, Michigan, community. Results of that sampling have been finalized and are available to view on the web."
At present the Web site includes links to the following: EPA requests to LWEC for information related to their emissions, MDEQ violation notices to LWEC, test results and a history of L'Anse Warden permits.
* Click here for the EPA's L'Anse Warden Power Plant Web site.