As Pa. pollution declines, fees do, too

    Air quality is getting better in Pennsylvania, and state officials say that’s led to such a decline in pollution fees that they can’t cover the cost of permitting programs.

    Officials say that because power plants and factories are polluting less, they pay less in fees that are used to run a program that permits such industries.

    The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Tuesday that the Department of Environmental Protection wants to increase the fees that big polluters pay, from $56 per ton of emissions to $85.

    DEP has scheduled a public hearing on the topic for March 5 in its Pittsburgh office. The program applies to 560 facilities statewide.

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    Jake Smeltz, president of the Harrisburg-based Electric Power Generation Association, says they don’t plan on fighting the proposed increase.

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