EPA To Loosen Pollution Rules

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will relax air pollution rules to make it easier for utilities to upgrade and expand their coal-burning power plants, a move that environmentalists say will produce millions of tons of additional pollution from older coal-burning plants and amount to a rollback of the Clean Air Act.

The announcement will give the industry greater flexibility in expanding electricity production without having to install additional emissions controls. Environmentalists and several state attorney generals have said they will challenge the rules in court.

Meantime, the EPA has acted on a call to improve the New Source Review (NSR) program and announced steps to encourage pollution prevention projects, energy efficiency improvements and investments in new technologies to encourage emissions reductions.