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EPA rule will target haze, pollution at Arches, Canyonlands national parks

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by RAM, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. RAM

    RAM Guest

    EPA rule will target haze, pollution at Arches, Canyonlands national parks Published: Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010 1:26 a.m. MST

    By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News

    SALT LAKE CITY — Environmental groups and national park proponents are praising the Environmental Protection Agency for proposed new regulations that aim to reduce haze in the scenic vistas of national parks throughout the Southwest, including Utah.

    The proposed rule targets excess pollution caused by the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington, N.M. It would also impact the Arizona Public Service's Four Corners Power Plant on Navajo land, less than 12 miles away.

    National parks near the plants are classified as "Class I areas," under the Clean Air Act and merit the highest levels of protection.

    The National Parks Conservation Association, joined by multiple other groups, contends Utah's Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park suffer from haze-causing emissions generated by the coal fired plants in New Mexico.

    Specifically, the group contends the San Juan Generating Station — the seventh-largest coal-fired plant in the West — has four units that collectively emit enough pollution to perceptibly impact visibility at 16 nearby national parks, monuments and wilderness areas.

    The rule, if adopted, would require the owners of the San Juan station to install a selective catalytic reduction, a pollution control technology that would cut the plant's nitrogen oxides emissions.

    "The reductions proposed for San Juan are right in line with what's being achieved elsewhere in the industry and should therefore be standard for all the coal plants in the region," said Mike Eisenfeld of the San Juan Citizens Alliance. "Anything less wouldn't meet regulatory requirements."

    As a result of a lawsuit filed by the park conservation association in 2008, the EPA must finalize a regional haze cleanup plan for nearly all states by Jan. 15, 2011.

    The EPA is accepting comments on the proposed rule and at least one public hearing will be held in New Mexico.
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