Environmentalists say new EPA rules will lead to greater power plant pollution

[JURIST] The ongoing battle against changes to rules that regulate US power plants continued Wednesday, after the Natural Resources Defense Council [advocacy website] made public draft EPA regulations it insists will lead to dirtier power plants. The proposed standards would allow modernized power plants to operate longer hours, thus increasing the plants' allowed daily emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency [official website] has estimated that longer hours would allow certain plants to generate as much as 100,000 tons of pollutants a year under current New Source Review rules (NSR) [EPA materials]. The proposed regulations could also undermine the efforts of several states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont, to control carbon dioxide emissions from more than 600 power plants [NRDC news report] by basing decisions on whether modernized plants comply with the regulations on how much pollution it could potentially emit per hour, rather than the current standard of how much it pollutes annually. An EPA spokeswoman said that the current power plant rule is no longer necessary because the Clean Air Interstate Rule [EPA materials] achieves greater pollution reduction than the NSR modernization guidelines. Wednesday's Washington Post has more.

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