EPA finalizes ‘good neighbor’ rule to reduce harmful smog and pollution from power plants


this Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday that it had finalized the so-called good-neighbor rules aimed at reducing harmful smog and nitrogen oxide pollution coal-fired power plant and industrial facilities.

The agency will require the 23 states that are not currently in compliance to comply with the rule, which sets limits on air pollution from smog and ground-level ozone that wafts to other states. For example, if one state generates ozone and smog through its coal-fired power plants, it may be in violation of the regulations if it sends the ozone to another state.

“We know this harmful pollution doesn’t stop at state lines,” EPA Administrator Michael Reagan told reporters Wednesday. β€œIt’s about fairness; some states have done what they can to control ozone pollution and are asking upwind states to do the same.”

The EPA said the newly finalized rule would reduce nitrogen oxide pollution by about 70,000 tons in 2026 during peak ozone months, typically March to November. By 2027, those levels will be half of 2021 levels, the agency added.

Additionally, starting with the 2026 ozone season, EPA will develop enforceable rules for NOx emissions from existing and new sources of emissions from heavy industry.

To meet the new rules, the EPA said most power plants and heavy industries will need to equip themselves with specialized pollution control equipment and must operate continuously throughout peak ozone season, which varies from state to state.

good neighbor rule is the latest entry in the series of EPA regulations Aims to reduce pollution and toxic waste from coal-fired power plants. The EPA is expected soon to release its highly anticipated rule that promises to reduce global-warming carbon pollution from coal- and natural-gas-fired power plants.

Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, recently urged the agency to delay finalizing the good-neighbor rule, saying he fears the “high cost” of complying with the rule could force power plants to decommission early.Manchin still has electricity Mainly from coal-fired power plants.

“I urge EPA to delay finalizing the rule until the agency addresses warnings from our nation’s electric reliability experts and significant concerns expressed by state environmental agencies,” Manchin said in a letter.

Regan emphasized that the EPA listened to the electric sector on reliability issues when finalizing the rule.

“This rule has some inherent features that we believe allow us to achieve our public health goals without compromising reliability,” Regan said.

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