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Friday, April 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Greens Call for Review of Coal-Powered Rule

WASHINGTON (CN) — Environmental groups have asked the D.C. Circuit to review the EPA's denial of their petition to reconsider changes it made to the Clean Air Act for oil- and coal-powered power plants.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Sierra Club and Environmental Integrity Project filed a petition for review on Oct. 6 after the EPA denied their request for reconsideration of a final rule that changed emission rules for coal- and oil-powered plants during startup and shutdown.

The EPA issued the regulation in 2012, but granted reconsideration at the industry's request. It issued the final rule on Nov. 19. 214, after reopening the regulation to public comment.

Among other things, the final rule gave plants four hours to comply with the emissions requirements for hazardous pollutants. It also dismissed the environmentalists' request for reconsideration, saying they had not cleared the statutory hurdles to make such objections.

Now the groups ask the DC Circuit to force the EPA to reconsider its denial. They say the EPA's lacks evidence to support the changes to the startup and shutdown rules, and contradict other provisions to curb air pollutants.

They specifically called out the EPA's claim that power plants cannot accurately measure admissions during startup as impossible to square with other EPA rules.

"For example, EPA does not adequately explain how it is permissible to both conclude that emissions cannot be accurately measured during startup, and still allow EGUs [Electricity Generating Units] to choose to comply with MATS' [Mercury and Air Toxics Standards] numerical standards from the point of generation, or to include mercury admissions measured before generation even begins," the groups wrote in their petition.

"EPA has said that PM CEMS [Particulate Matter Continuous Emissions Monitoring System] cannot reliably measure particulates during the first four hours of generation, but EPA offers no specific data to support that conclusion," the groups said.

They also blasted the EPA's changes to work practices at plants as "vague and unenforceable," and said they violate D.C. Circuit precedent.

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