N.J. environmentalists hail EPA curb on Pa. power plant

A coal-burning power plant in Pennsylvania that environmentalists say is the largest source of pollution in northwestern New Jersey has been ordered to control its emissions.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is forcing the Portland Generating Station in Northampton County to reduce its sulfur-dioxide emissions by 81 percent within thee years.

The plant produces more pollution than all of the power plants in the Garden State combined, according to Doug O’Malley with Environment New Jersey.

“This power plant has been a huge blight on New Jersey’s air quality. We need to make sure that plant and the rest of Pennsylvania’s power plants meet the same standards that New Jersey’s power plants meet,” O’Malley said.

New Jersey officials have been trying for almost a decade to get the Portland plant to install updated equipment to reduce the pollution that drifts across the state border.

Calling it a “real victory for our lungs,” New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel said he is pleased the federal government is taking action.

Tittel says the plant will have to install new scrubbers to reduce emissions, convert to a natural gas plant, or close.

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