EPA plans tougher emission standards for new power plants

Jul 23, 1997 02:00 AM

July 7, 1997 In an action that will increase protection of public health and help reduce long-range transport of ground-level ozone (smog) across the U.S., EPA has proposed tighter emission standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx) from new electric utility boilers and industrial boilers. The proposed limits would reduce the projected growth in NOx emissions by approximately 42 % from current levels. NOx is one of the primary ingredients -- along with volatile organic compounds(VOCs) -- of smog; it's also a big contributor to acid rain.
The proposal will help EPA address the issue of long-range transport of air pollution, where emissions generated in one state can endanger ambient standards in another state.
Under the "new source performance standards" provisions of the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to set emission standards for new facilities in certain industrial categories (states are responsible for regulating existing facilities). EPA last revised the new source performance standard for NOx from utilityboilers in 1979 and from industrial boilers in 1986. EPA estimates that 17 new utility boilers and about 380 new industrial boilers will be constructed over the next five years. Today's announced proposal will become a final rule in September 1998. The proposal will appear soon in the Federal Register; however, the proposal can be immediately accessed electronically through the World Wide Web at: (http://ttnwww.rtpnc.epa.gov/).

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