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Air Pollution: Getting Less Fast Enough?

The USEPA indicated yesterday that because the Clear Skies Initiative is bogged down in Congress, it will begin establishing regulations to do the same thing.

If you can't beat 'em, go around 'em.

Air advocates are hopping mad. "The reality is that what they are proposing will still allow industry to pollute too much for too long," said Frank O'Donnell, executive director of Clean Air Trust. "And that will lead to continuing unnecessary health problems."

New USEPA Chief Mike Leavitt says that the regs will cut mercury emissions by 70 percent from 48 tons to 15 tons by 2018. If you click the link, you'll see that this is not news - it's something they haven't done for the last three years. The plan will also establish a type of pollution credit trading program for large utilities.

The new regs would also reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants from about 10 million tons a year to 3.2 million tons by 2015. Also, nitrogen oxide would drop from 4 million tons annually to 1.7 million tons.

Another air advocate group, Environmental Defense had no issue with the trading program, but claimed "reductions ought to be deeper than being proposed."

Other environmental groups have criticized pollution credit trading for allowing the development of "hot spots" of higher pollution around homes and schools. They claim increased emissions are possible just by purchasing credits instead of reducing emissions.

Looks like we're moving forward, just not fast enough for everyone's tastes.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, December 05, 2003 at 09:14 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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