Pa. seeks U.S. flexibility in new emissions rules

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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is urging the federal government to take a flexible approach to establishing new pollution emissions rules for existing coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing carbon dioxide pollution standards for both new and existing power plants aimed at combating climate change and improving public health, but the DEP wants the rules to take into account states, like Pennsylvania, that burn more coal to generate power.

A letter dated April 10 from DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy that accompanies a six-page “white paper,” urges the federal government to establish target emissions reductions rather than mandating ways to achieve that goal.

In January, the EPA proposed controls on carbon emissions from new power plants. Its emissions limits proposal for existing power plants is expected in June, with a final rule by June 2015.

The proposed new carbon standards would be the first for the electric power sector, which emits 33 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and 60 percent of stationary source greenhouse gas emissions.

To read the white paper, visit, and click on “Air,” then “Bureau of Air Quality.”

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