EPA holds hearings in Philadelphia on pollution rule

    The so-called “transport rule” is meant to reduce airborne emissions that cross state lines.

    The Environmental Protection Agency got a full day of testimony in Philadelphia today about a plan to limit pollution from power plants. As WHYY’s Kerry Grens reports, most of those who turned out favored tougher limits.

    EPA’s proposed “transport rule” will tamp down emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Sam Napolitano, the EPA’s director of Clean Air Markets, says the rule would impact 31 states, all in the eastern United States.

    Napolitano: In particular in the East there is a greater reliance on coal fired generation that leads to greater emissions to be dealt with and you have many more urban centers that you care about from an air quality vantage point to protect its citizens.

    Photo of supporters of the new rule
    Supporters of the EPA’s proposed Transport Rule that would reduce pollution emissions from coal-fired power plants.

    Napolitano is leading the hearings on the rule. He says the majority of testimony he’s heard has been positive, including some from energy producers.

    At a press briefing, environmental groups and the American Lung Association expressed their support. Joe Minott is the executive director of the Clean Air Council.

    Minott:
    Someone has to pay the cost of this pollution. it can either be industry when it pays to control the pollution or the public as it pays to cure the impact of the pollution.

    The EPA estimates the pollution reductions would save more than a $100 billion in health costs associated with breathing these emissions.

    Some coal-based generators have said the cost burden could be great, and will get passed down to consumers.

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