Michigan DEQ proposes rule to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from Southwest Detroit
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found sulfur dioxide concentrations higher than those allowed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide, which requires states to attain levels of at least 75 parts per billion by 2018. To accomplish that goal, the DEQ released a plan to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions for public comment in fall 2015, which resulted in comments suggesting additional permanent reductions.
Based on this public input and further review of the data, the DEQ altered its plan to include the additional reductions, which impact five companies operating in Southwest Detroit. Four of those companies reached agreements with the DEQ, while the department is seeking to use the rule to require the final company, U.S. Steel, to reduce the emissions at its Zug Island Boiler Houses and at the Ecorse facility’s Hot Strip Mill Reheat Furnaces. The plan will be submitted to the EPA for review and approval.
The area’s sulfur dioxide levels have dropped by 33 percent since the EPA’s 2010 finding, and current air monitoring data shows that levels are at 64 parts per billion.