April 28, 2009

EPA Reconsiders Bush Era Emissions Rules

Three rules laid out under the former Bush Administration that affect how coal-fired power plants account for their air emissions are being carefully reconsidered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Reuters reported.

The Obama White House is seeking to reverse several loopholes created by the EPA under the Bush administration, environmental groups said on Monday.

Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said the move was part of an ongoing effort by the EPA to clean up the polluter-dominated mess it inherited from Bush.

The current Bush-appointed rules determine when and how coal-fired power plants account for air emissions that are not released through a stack, vent or other confined air streams.

They also determine how records on emissions are kept and how they account for air emissions associated with soot when obtaining a permit.

The EPA was petitioned to review the current regulations by several environmental groups including The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice and New Jersey's attorney general.

Dan Weiss, an energy expert at the Center for American Progress, said the new rules would undo some of the Bush administration's plans to undermine the new source review program so that old coal-fired power plants could evade stricter pollution controls when extending the life of the plant.

The EPA is reviewing the regulations in an effort to make sure the public has a chance to consider any recent changes that would affect the new source review program.

Power plants and other industrial factories are required to install pollution-fighting equipment when ramping up output or upgrading facilities under the current program.

The EPA is set to publish a notice in the Federal Register on any changes made to certain aspects of each of the three rules.


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