The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a court ordered schedule to review and act on more than 40 state pollution reduction plans aimed to reduce the pollutants that cause regional haze, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particles.
EPA said it intends to propose and finalize a rule by spring 2012 that addresses the determination that power plants meeting the requirements in the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) will fulfill the best available retrofit technology requirements under the regional haze program.
In many cases, the technologies are already installed or in the process of being installed to meet other state and federal requirements, including CSAPR.
States are currently working on plans to meet haze requirements, but if a state is unable to establish a plan, EPA will determine a federal plan.
EPA initially issued a rule in 1999 requiring states to submit regional haze plans. These plans were due in December 2007. National Parks Conservation Association and other environmental groups sued the agency in August 2011 to take action on these plans. The consent decree resolves this litigation.
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