Issue Date: October 17, 2011
EPA Revises Interstate Air Pollution Rule
EPA is proposing to ease air pollution restrictions from a regulation it issued in July. The regulation is designed to reduce emissions, mostly from coal-fired power plants, that often travel across state borders. Under the proposal, 10 of the 27 states affected by the cross-state transport rule would be allowed to emit more smog- and soot-causing chemicals than had originally been permitted. EPA says it made slight adjustments to the rule after obtaining new data. The revised measure, the agency adds, will provide “certainty for utilities as we work together to ensure that we protect the air we all breathe and the jobs of American workers.” But Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas), chairman of the House of Representatives Science, Space & Technology Committee, says EPA’s action “confirms several major shortcomings” of the rule, including the use of nontransparent models that do not seem to match with actual pollution measurements. “As we have seen in Texas and throughout the U.S., pursuing an EPA-knows-best approach to compliance will unquestionably result in increased unemployment, power plant shutdowns, and more expensive, less reliable energy,” Hall remarks.
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