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EPA plan would limit downwind pollution from power plants

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a plan to reduce smoke emissions from power plants and other industrial sources that burden windy areas with pollution that causes smog that they cannot control. The federal plan announced Friday aims to help more than a dozen states meet their “good neighbor” obligations under the Clean Air Act. States contributing to ground-level ozone or smog are required to submit plans to ensure that coal-fired power plants and other industrial facilities do not significantly contribute to air pollution in other states. In cases where a state has not submitted a “good neighbor” plan – or where the EPA rejects a state plan – the federal plan will come into force to ensure that wind-blown states are protected. “Air pollution does not stop at the state line,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement. The new federal plan “will help our state partners meet air quality standards, saving lives and improving public health in cloud-affected communities in the United States.” A 2015 rule set by the EPA excludes adding to ozone pollution in other locations. The rule applies mainly to the southern and midwestern states that contribute to air pollution along the east coast. Some states, such as Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin, both contribute to wind pollution and receive it from other states. Ground-level ozone, which forms when industrial pollutants react chemically in the presence of sunlight, can cause respiratory problems, including asthma and chronic bronchitis. With a weakened immune system, the elderly and children playing outdoors are particularly vulnerable. A report last year by the American Lung Association found that more than 123 million Americans lived in counties with repeated cases of unhealthy ozone levels. Climate change is likely to exacerbate the problem by causing more hot sunny days that favor high ozone levels. The EPA rule set a standard of 70 parts per billion, a level that some environmental and health groups have argued is lagging behind. Business leaders and Republicans have said the Obama-era rule could hurt the economy and cost jobs. The Trump administration moved to weaken the rule, but the EPA under President Joe Biden said it was reinstating pollution controls at power plants and industrial facilities. The state pollution law “protects millions of Americans in the eastern United States from the smog that blows across state lines and then permeates their communities,” said Graham McCahan, a senior advocate for the Environmental Protection Fund. The proposed update “will encourage more power plants to invest in clean, affordable zero-emission power, which will help more windy states be ‘good neighbors,’ as required by the clean air law,” he said. Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment Committee, welcomed the EPA proposal. “Some of us are in windy states like Delaware, where more than 90 percent of our air pollution comes from abroad,” said Carper. are cracked, inflation is skyrocketing and Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, we must be careful “With regulations that could further raise prices for all Americans, slow economic growth and threaten jobs,” said Aric Newhouse, senior vice president of the manufacturer group, which represents companies in every 50 states. Manufacturers will work with the EPA to ensure that the rules can “achieve common goals in a constructive way,” Newhouse said. The EPA proposal will affect power plants and industrial sources by 2026. The plan will covers boilers used in chemical, oil, coal and paper plants; Cement kilns; iron and steel mills. glass makers; and engines used in gas pipelines. The proposed rule includes a 60-day public comment period. The EPA expects to issue a final rule by the end of the year.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a plan to reduce emissions from power plants and other industrial sources that burden areas with smog that they cannot control.

The federal plan announced Friday aims to help more than a dozen states meet their “good neighbor” obligations under the Clean Air Act.

States that contribute to ground-level ozone or smog are required to submit plans to ensure that coal-fired power plants and other industrial facilities do not significantly contribute to air pollution in other states. In cases where a state has not submitted a “good neighbor” plan – or where the EPA rejects a state plan – the federal plan will come into force to ensure that wind-hit states are protected.

“Air pollution does not stop at the state line,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. The new federal plan “will help our state partners meet air quality standards, saving lives and improving public health in cloud-hit communities in the United States.”

A 2015 rule set by the EPA prevents states from adding to ozone pollution in other locations. The rule applies mainly to southern and midwestern states that contribute to air pollution along the east coast. Some states, such as Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin, contribute to wind pollution and receive it from other states.

Ground-level ozone, which is formed when industrial pollutants react chemically in the presence of sunlight, can cause respiratory problems, including asthma and chronic bronchitis. People with weakened immune systems, the elderly and children playing outdoors are particularly vulnerable.

A report last year by the American Lung Association found that more than 123 million Americans lived in counties with repeated cases of unhealthy ozone levels. Climate change is likely to exacerbate the problem by causing more hot sunny days that favor high ozone levels.

The EPA set a standard of 70 parts per billion, a level that some environmental and health groups have argued is lagging behind. Business leaders and Republicans have said the Obama-era rule could hurt the economy and cost jobs.

The Trump administration moved to weaken the rule, but the EPA under President Joe Biden said it was reinstating pollution controls at power plants and industrial facilities.

The state pollution law “protects millions of Americans across the eastern United States from the smog that blows across state lines and then permeates their communities,” said Graham McCahan, a senior advocate for the Environmental Protection Fund.

The proposed update “will encourage more power plants to invest in clean, affordable zero-emission energy, which will help more air-to-air states be ‘good neighbors,’ as required by the Clean Air Act,” McCahan said.

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment Committee, welcomed the EPA proposal.

“Similar to secondhand smoke, air pollution has a negative impact on health in communities across the country. “This is especially true for those of us in windy states like Delaware, where more than 90 percent of our air pollution comes from outside the state,” Carper said.

The National Manufacturers Association was skeptical.

“At a time when our supply chains are cracked, inflation is skyrocketing and Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, we need to be careful with regulations that could further raise prices for all Americans, slow economic growth and slow down. “Threaten jobs,” said Aric Newhouse. Senior Vice President of the Manufacturers Group, representing companies in each industry in all 50 states.

Manufacturers will work with the EPA to ensure that the rules can “achieve common goals in a constructive way,” Newhouse said.

The EPA proposal will affect power plants from next year and industrial sources by 2026. The plan will cover boilers used in chemical, oil, coal and paper mills. Cement kilns; iron and steel mills. glass makers; and engines used in gas pipelines.

The proposed rule includes a 60-day public comment period. The EPA expects to issue a final rule by the end of the year.

EPA plan would limit downwind pollution from power plants Source link EPA plan would limit downwind pollution from power plants

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