The comment period closed Monday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Regional Haze Plan. The plan seeks to address the issue of air pollution produced by coal fired power plants. Wyoming put together its own regional haze program, but the EPA rejected parts of it, saying it wasn't strong enough, particularly when it came to nitrogen oxide emissions at four plants.
Governor Mead says EPA’s plan circumvents the Clean Air Act’s directive to let states lead the way in regional haze control. He adds that the EPA’s plan will cost more – $1.2 billion dollars in upfront costs and $170 million in annual costs.
The Powder River Basin Resource Council’s Shannon Anderson says that's an exaggeration.
“Both EPA and the state of Wyoming and the utilities overestimate the costs for the pollution control technology. This particular technology that reduces nitrogen oxides is currently installed at over 200 power plants across the country, it’s widely used, it’s not cost prohibitive by any means, so we believe it’s more than reasonable to require it at Wyoming coal plants,” Anderson says.
Anderson says that both the EPA and the state overestimate the cost of updating power-generating facilities and ignore another pollution source, the state’s oil and gas industry.
The EPA plans to release a final rule by November 21st.