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[greenyes] Anticipated EPA Action on NSPS Exempt Maintanence at Existing Power Plants
NEW YORK TIMES - 8/22/03

Draft of Air Rule Is Said to Exempt Many Old Plants

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 - After more than two years of internal deliberation and
intense pressure from industry, the Bush administration has settled on a
regulation that would allow thousands of older power plants, oil refineries
and industrial units to make extensive upgrades without having to install
new anti-pollution devices, according to those involved in the

The new rule, a draft of which was made available to The New York Times by
the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, would
constitute a sweeping and cost-saving victory for industries, exempting
thousands of indus trial plants and refineries from part of the Clean Air
Act. The acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency could
sign the new rule as soon as next week, administration officials have told
utility representatives.
The exemption would let industrial plants continue to emit hundreds of
thousands of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere and could save the
companies millions, if not billions, of dollars in pollution equipment
costs, even if they increase the amounts of pollutants they emit.
The action could also spare Gov. Michael O. Leavitt of Utah, if he is
confirmed as the new E.P.A. administrator, from having to make a decision on
a highly contentious issue.
The current rule requires plant owners to install pollution-control devices
if they undertake anything more than "routine maintenance" on their plants.
Industries have long argued that the standard is too vague and hinders
substantial investment in cleaner, more efficient equipment.
The new rule says that as much as 20 percent of the cost of replacing a
plant's essential production equipment - a boiler, generator or turbine -
could be spent and the owner would still be exempt from installing any
pollution controls, according to people involved in the deliberations.
Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

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