Issue Date: December 15, 2008
EPA Abandons Air Pollution Rule
After years of debate, EPA last week announced it would not complete a controversial Clean Air Act rule. The regulation, proposed in 2005, was to have made it easier for power generators to renovate and extend the operating capacity of older plants without installing modern air pollution control equipment. This planned rule was expected to increase air pollution from coal-fired power plants. In turn, this was likely to push state environmental regulators to place tighter emissions controls on other industries, including chemical plants, to maintain air quality. An EPA spokesman says the agency was unable to finish the rule to the White House’s satisfaction by the Administration’s deadline for regulations to be issued before President Bush leaves office. Environmental activists and key Democrats in Congress are praising EPA both for abandoning the planned rule and for dropping a second regulation that would have made it easier to construct power plants and other polluting facilities near national parks.
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