EPA tells power plants to clean up.air pollution
Posted 25 December 2011 - 08:05 PM
Associated Press 12/23/2011
WASHINGTON - Unveiling a historic rule, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the first national requirement for the nation's coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions of mercury, arsenic, cyanide and other toxic pollutants.
The landmark ruling took more than 20 years for the EPA to finish. Under the Clean Air Act, many other sources of air pollution have been cleaned up, but power plants were so important to the economy that they long had a pass.
About 60 percent of the nation's plants, however, already comply with the new requirement because of state rules. The remaining 40 percent are a major source of pollution, producing more than half the mercury emissions in the country, the EPA said. The ruling will require coal-fired power plants to add pollution-control equipment or close. Many plants already scheduled to close are 50 years or older.
EPA estimated that the new requirement will prevent as many as 11,000 deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 cases of childhood asthma each year.
"This is a great victory for public health, especially for the health of our children," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in an announcement ceremony at the Children's National Medical Center.
Mercury harms the nervous systems of fetuses and young children, reducing their ability to think and learn as they grow up. Other toxic pollutants from the plants have been linked to cancer and other diseases. Soot, or particle pollution, can cause heart and lung diseases.
EPA estimates that it will cost companies $9.6 billion to comply. It said the health benefits would outweigh that by as much as 9 to 1. It also predicted a net gain in jobs - up to 46,000 short-term construction jobs and 8,000 long-term jobs in maintenance and operation of pollution controls.
Lawmakers from coal producing and manufacturing states such as Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia, and Texas have been fighting the EPA all year and have proposed legislation to weaken it.
Energy producers have argued that-"Not only has President Obama's regulatory agenda made it harder for new electricity generation to be built, but these new regulations will increase energy prices for Americans who can least afford to pay more to light and heat their homes, and for businesses that need reliable, affordable energy to compete globally," said Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chairman of the House Energy and Power subcommittee.
What do you think about this new ruling?
Shared by E3wise
Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:18 AM
Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:40 PM
Posted 31 December 2011 - 07:51 AM
Thing is, new technology isn't necessary to comply with the new EPA regulations.
In the article that E3wise posted is
"About 60 percent of the nation's plants, however, already comply with the new requirement because of state rules"
Since it is cheaper and more profitable to keep operating a fifty year old (fully paid for) inefficient electric powerplant without pollution controls than either build a newer more efficient plant that includes pollution controls or upgrade the old plant, lots of businessmen will keep the operating old one as long as they legally can. The public good isn't a consideration for that kind of businessman.
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