EPA Finalizes Pollution Controls At Six Arizona Facilities

July 10, 2014

The EPA has finalized stricter limits on air pollution produced by some Arizona mining companies and manufacturing plants. The goal is to improve visibility at Grand Canyon National Park and other wilderness areas.

The plants must reduce their emissions starting in 2018. Mining companies Freeport McMoRan and Asarco will have to install new equipment at their copper smelters in Hayden and Miami, Ariz. Colleen McKaughan is with the EPA’s air division in Tucson. She said the upgrades will cost millions of dollars but the companies get to decide what clean air technology they’ll purchase.

"We set an emission limit that we want the facility to meet and they can choose different ways of meeting that limit," McKaughan said. "There are different types of controls out there that they can pick.”

New pollution controls at the copper smelters will reduce Sulfur Dioxide emissions by 29,000 tons each year. Two cement plants and a lime factory in northern Arizona plus a Tucson power plant are required to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 2,900 tons annually.