EPA Ruling on Haze Angers Power Company

Potentially, more woes are coming to Luminant’s Big Brown and Monticello Power Plants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – this time in the form of a Regional Haze Ruling.
After learning of the ruling, Luminant filed official comments with EPA last week.
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for regional haze in Texas is a costly so-called ‘solution’ with no perceptible benefit,” Brad Watson, Luminant Corp Communications representative stated regarding the ruling.
According to Watson, Regional Haze has everything to do with the visibility at national parks and nothing to do with health.  Further, the haze can be from such things as vehicles, windblown soil, and smoke from Mexico, as well as power plants.
Originally in 2009, states were to put in place a State Implementation Plan (SIP), to be submitted to EPA, that would gradually improve visibility over decades at national parks, i.e., Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Southern Oklahoma.
The states were given flexibility and discretion for determining goals, not standards.
The states were required to consult each other on emission reductions needed to achieve that progress.
Texas and Oklahoma went through an extensive mutual consultation process for the Wichita Mountains, with each submitting their respective plans to the EPA.
According to Mr. Watson, EPA rejected the two states’ cooperation with each other.
Instead, EPA ignored the SIP in favor of their Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) for Texas that is different from all the other states.
Mr. Watson outlined what the mandated results would be under FIP:
–More than $2 billion in unjustified costs for new upgrades by 2018 and retrofits by 2020 to further control sulfur dioxide at all 14 Texas coal units, 9 of which belong to Luminant and are far away from these parks.
–Higher bills for consumers, as the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ) has said the costs will be passed on to the consumer.

Read More at Freestone County Times

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