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Friday, July 8, 2011 - 10:33am

New Rule Targets Coal Plant Pollution

Environmentalists and health advocates are hailing a stricter federal standard on soot and smog that came down Thursday. It mandates tighter pollution controls for coal plants in and around the state.

The cross state air pollution rule is a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s aim to cut 2005 smog and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than a half come 2014.

Rebecca Watts-Hull is with Mothers and Others for Clean Air.

"It’s good news for Georgia’s kids as well as kids with asthma anywhere. Georgia gets pollution from a number of other states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana so this will ensure not just our own coal plants have to have good controls but coal plants everywhere," says Hull.

Georgia anticipated the rule and passed its own law in 2007 requiring tighter pollution controls on coal plants.

Hull says some are already in compliance.

Georgia Power who owns all ten of the coal plants currently operating in the state says it’s reviewing the rule.

Power for Georgians is proposing two of three new plants. It says the ruling doesn’t affect its plans.

“Some of the emissions standards we have for Plant Washington are already below those that are being proposed in this regulation,” says Alford. “That’s the difference between new modern technology with the coal plants and the older facilities.”

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