Wednesday, February 08, 2012

EPA makes "minor technical adjustments" to embattled cross-state pollution rules

The US EPA has rather quietly made a few adjustments to its embattled cross-state air pollution rules for power plant emissions that drift across state lines. The new rules were signed last night and can be found online: http://www.epa.gov/crossstaterule/actions.html

EPA describes these as “minor technical adjustments” based on new information since the rules were released last July. According to the EPA

The adjustments provide flexibility by increasing budgets in 17 states and easing limits on market-based compliance options. While individual state adjustments vary, overall, the total budget increase from both rules remain small—around two percent—when compared to the millions of tons of pollution reductions secured by CSAPR.
As you know, the rules have been stayed by a federal court while lawsuits grind through the system. EPA says it is prepared to move forward with these changes if it prevails in court.

We know courts are unpredictable.

But we do believe EPA is trying to make decisions based on the best possible information. And the cross-state rule is crucial to bring down levels of soot and smog pollution that cause thousands of premature deaths a year.

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