Friday, April 13, 2012

Ask EPA to Hold Reid Gardner Coal to a Higher Standard

As I mentioned in my last post on this, the EPA decided that clean air and health in desert communities and wildlands is less important than the profit margin of the coal industry.  Instead of selecting the best available technology to reduce emissions from the Reid Gardner coal power plant northeast of Las Vegas, the EPA's proposed rule would let it use a less effective means primarily to reduce Reid Gardner's cost of compliance.

The EPA published the proposed rule in the Federal Register (here), which means you have until 14 May to submit your comments to Webb.Thomas@epa.gov.  Here are some points to use to craft your own comments:
  • The EPA should require Reid Gardner coal power plant to adopt the best available technology to reduce emissions, which in this case would be the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology.
  • The EPA's proposed rule does not properly address the impacts of its decision on the health of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who live next to the power plant and are subjected to toxic emissions, including nitrogen oxides, mercury, and carbon dioxide. 
  • SCR technology would be three times more effective than EPA's proposed solution at reducing haze.
  • EPA's analysis on the "cost of compliance" for the Reid Gardner coal facility to adopt the most effective technology -- SCR -- should take into account long term health costs and benefits, which argue in favor of more effective technology.

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