EPA proposes rules to help states enforce air standards

Haze over national parks would be reduced

April 17, 2004|By Elizabeth Shogren | Elizabeth Shogren,LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - As part of a long-term strategy to clear the haze that hangs over national parks and wilderness areas, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed guidelines yesterday to help states target the power plants and other industrial facilities that are largely to blame.

The proposal is aimed at the hundreds of power plants, steel mills, cement plants, metal smelters, chemical processors, petroleum refineries and other big polluters that were built between 1962 and 1977, before the Clean Air Act started requiring pollution controls.

The proposed rule is designed to help meet the Clean Air Act requirement to restore the air above national parks and wilderness areas to their naturally clear states by 2064.

The proposal would help the states decide what older power plants and other industrial facilities are adding to the haze problem and what pollution controls they must install. The plants must be identified by 2008, and they must install pollution controls by 2014 or 2018.

"The big question is whether the states will have the resolve to carry out the substantial reductions in haze-forming pollution that the federal guidelines call for, especially from power plants," said Vickie Patton, an attorney for Environmental Defense, a national advocacy group. "The guidelines give states wide latitude to decide in the end that some of these high polluting sources that contribute to haze in national parks don't need to be cleaned up."

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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