EPA Rule Would Cut Power Plant Pollution

WASHINGTON, July 6 (UPI) — Proposed pollution-reducing rules would affect power plants in 31 states and the District of Columbia, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

The proposed “transport rule” would target power plant pollution that drifts across the borders of 31 eastern states and the District of Columbia, the agency said in a release. Coupled with local and state air pollution controls, the proposal is designed to help areas in the eastern United States meet existing national air quality health standards.

The transport rule would reduce power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides to meet state-by-state emission reductions, the EPA said. By 2014, the rule and other state and EPA actions would reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 71 percent over 2005 levels and nitrogen oxide emission levels would drop by 52 percent.

The transport rule also would help improve visibility in state and national parks and increase protection for ecosystems sensitive to pollution, the agency said.

“This rule is designed to cut pollution that spreads hundreds of miles and has enormous negative impacts on millions of Americans,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “We’re working to limit pollution at its source, rather than waiting for it to move across the country. The reductions we’re proposing will save billions in health costs, help increase American educational and economic productivity, and — most importantly — save lives.”

EPA will take public comment on the proposal for 60 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register, as well as conduct public hearings.

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