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EPA Final Rule Imposes Emissions Limits to Reduce Haze

Map credit: EPA

Map credit: EPA

Original headline: Feds order six plants to clear national park skies by cutting emissions

By Brittany Bade for Cronkite News

The Environmental Protection Agency set new limits Sept. 3 on emissions from six Arizona industrial facilities in order to reduce haze at 17 national parks and wilderness areas, including the Grand Canyon.

The final rule, published in Wednesday’s Federal Register, would cut more than 32,000 tons of pollutants each year from smelters, cement plants and a power plant to clear the air over “Class 1″ federal lands in Arizona, California, Utah and New Mexico. Twelve of those areas are in Arizona.

Advocates for the Grand Canyon, the most-famous of the 17 affected parks, welcomed the move but said it does not go far enough, noting that several coal-burning power plants in the state are not included in Wednesday’s rule.

“It’s a sign of progress,” said Roger Clark, Grand Canyon program director for the Grand Canyon Trust. “But the reality is the Navajo Generating Station and other power plants around it continue to cause haze at the Canyon every day.”

The notice said the new emission guidelines will take effect Oct. 3.

“The companies have to decide how they’re going to meet the rules,” Webb said. “We aren’t telling them how to do it, we’re just telling them they have to do it.”

The Federal Register notice also said the EPA “would welcome a State plan to replace some or all of the Federal plan.”

Read more at Cronkite News