L’ANSE — A public hearing was held this evening by the Department of Environmental Quality regarding the L’Anse Warden Power Plant Air Quality permit.

The DEQ had recently heard complaints from residents around L’Anse about the Warden Power Plant creating fugitive dust particles. Since then, the DEQ has worked to eliminate the use of PCP wood ties in the plant and also asking the plant to enclose the conveyors that were creating the dust.

Members from the DEQ held this public forum to discuss their proposed draft and consent order for the changes needing to be made at the plant.

“Having the public come in and tell us these things they know about the plant, what they think of the permit, what other changes they think need to be made are very important, because most often we make changes to the permit before it’s issued. At this point in time, we have not made any decisions on the permit, so we need to hear what the citizens have to say,” said Air Quality Division Chief of the DEQ, Lynn Fiedler.

Despite the DEQ’s assurance that the debris from the plant would not have caused any health concerns for the citizens, some of the residents disagree.

“There’s a lot of concern because there are people walking, along this town or riding bikes, or just driving by and people are getting sick,” said Baraga County Resident, Connie Beck.

“They should take a lot more tests and they should surely ask more citizens in town how this all affects them,” said Baraga County Resident, Susan Newman.

The DEQ’s main goal in this permit is to ensure that the plant is installing the enclosed conveyers quickly and make sure they are not impacting the citizens around them.