Next week the Environmental Protection Agency plans to release its final rule on the Clean Air Act's definition of "routine maintenance" that would allow more air pollution from approximately 17,000 industrial facilities across the country, according to NRDC.
NRDC obtained a leaked copy of the final rule, which essentially repeals the "new source review" provision of the Clean Air Act. That provision requires industrial facilities to install modern pollution controls when they make upgrades to plants that increase air pollution. The new final rule would allow facilities to avoid installing pollution controls when they replace equipment -- even if the upgrade increases pollution -- as long as the cost of the replacement did not exceed 20 percent of the cost of what the EPA broadly defines as a "process unit." For example, if a coal-fired power plant replaced a boiler whose cost was less than 20 percent of the replacement cost of the entire process unit -- the boiler, turbine, generator and other equipment that turns coal into electricity -- the company would not have to control the resulting pollution increases.
"The Bush administration, using an arbitrary, Enron-like accounting gimmick, is authorizing massive pollution increases to benefit Bush campaign contributors at the expense of public health," said John Walke, director of NRDC's Clean Air Project. "Corporate polluters will now be able to spew even more harmful chemicals into our air, regardless of the fact that it will harm millions of Americans."
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.