DEQ asking public input on non-compliance issues at U.P. power plant

L’ANSE — A public hearing was held this evening addressing the Warden Power Plant in L’Anse requesting to change the mix of biofuel it currently uses to produce electrical power.

Two non-compliance issues have recently arose at the plant. After an inspection, the plant was found to be in violation of the hydrogen-chloride limit and after more than 60 complaints from L’Anse residents, a nuisance dust violation was also found.

“The citizens called and complained to us and we went out and investigated and we found wood dust on their property, on their vehicles so it was basically creating a nuisance for the neighbors and they were concerned about their health also,” said DEQ Air Quality Division, Chris Hare.

The meeting was held tonight to discuss the DEQ’s compliance plans for these issues and hear the publics input. The compliance plan for the Hydrogen chloride limit exceedance is for the company to submit a permit application to remove PCP railroad ties from the fuel portfolio.

In regards to the nuisance violation, the plans are to create a full enclosure of the fuel hopping and wood chip conveyers.
Although these are the requested compliance plans, the main question from the public was ‘why not just use natural gas?”

“Our goal is to get this plant converted back to natural gas because natural gas doesn’t have the pollutants that are associated with the fuel that is being used right now, so natural gas is our goal,” said L’Anse Citizen, Catherine Andrews.

An official public hearing will be held on September 28th at L’Anse High School.