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EPA amends cross state emission rules for Texas, nine other states

Unsafe levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter are linked to aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart attacks and premature death.
Unsafe levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter are linked to aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart attacks and premature death.
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The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday it will hand out 76,000 extra allowances to power companies, with around 70,000 of those allowances going to Texas plants. The announcement comes after Texas and Luminant filed lawsuits claiming that EPA denied Texas and its electric generators the opportunity to prepare or object before the regulations were finalized. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule released in July, 2011 imposes caps on sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions that drift across state borders.

Luminant said in a statement that they would analyze the proposed revisions and develop an implementation plan to meet the revised requirements.

Texas Attorney Greg Abbott was however more blunt saying EPA’s changes fails to fix the flawed Cross-State Air Pollution regulation.

“By making minor changes, the Obama Administration effectively concedes that its rules were flawed – but inexplicably refuses to resolve the real defects. Given the significant stakes for Texas families, the State will continue pressing the courts to force EPA to do what it should have done on its own in the first place”, Abbott said.

Power companies that already have reduced pollution can sell the allowances granted by EPA to companies that need more time to add more pollution control equipment in order to comply with the rule.

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