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Media: Press Release

NEW LOOPHOLES FOR TEXAS POLLUTERS UNVEILED
"New Source Review" Changes Will Increase Air Pollution Across State
Public Citizen
Public Citizen
  SEED Coalition
SEED Coalition

6/13/2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
Karen Hadden
(512) 797-8481
Denny Larson
(415) 845-4705
Ron Giles
(512) 360-4053

Satellite Feed Coordinates For Today's NSR White House Announcement.

FIRST FEED:
Date: Thurs, June 13, 2002
Time: 13:30 - 13:45 ET
Satellite: Telstar 5, Transp. 5
SATELLITE TYPE: C- Band
Downlink Frequency: 3800
Downlink Polarity: Vertical  Orbital Position: 97 degrees West
Audio: 6.2, 6.8
  SECOND FEED:
Date: Thurs, June 13, 2002
Time: 16:30 - 16:45 ET
Satellite: Telstar 5, Transp. 16
SATELLITE TYPE: C- Band
Downlink Frequency: 4020
Downlink Polarity: Horizontal
Orbital Position: 97 degrees West
Audio: 6.2, 6.8 

(Austin, TX) — The Bush Administration today unveiled a plan that would punch dangerous new loopholes in the Clean Air Act. These loopholes, which seriously undercut the "New Source Review" (NSR) provision of the Clean Air Act, could result in more pollution in Texas skies and signal the Administration’s unwillingness to be tough with known violators like Alcoa.

"The Administration’s plan would amount to the biggest rollback of the Clean Air Act in its history. Last year, New Source Review was targeted by Vice President Cheney’s energy task force following a lobbying campaign by companies that had been charged with breaking the law," said Karen Hadden of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition. "It has been on the chopping block ever since, and today the knife fell."

The issue concerns the Clean Air Act program that requires the oldest and dirtiest "grandfathered" power plants and refineries to install modern pollution controls whenever they make major modifications that substantially increase pollution. The program also applies to more than 18,000 industrial facilities like paper mills and chemical plants. Among the changes:

  • CURRENT LAW: Polluters must install state-of-the-art pollution controls whenever they significantly increase air pollution.

  • BUSH PLAN: Polluters can significantly increase pollution without installing new controls, by claiming credit for pollution reductions that happened up to a decade ago. This would erase many improvements in air quality that have occurred over the past decade at thousands of industrial facilities nationwide.

  • CURRENT LAW: Modern pollution controls must be installed on all equipment in the plant that causes significant increases in pollution.

  • BUSH PLAN: Equipment that is as old as 15 years will be exempted from modern pollution controls, as long as it was considered “clean” under the standards then in effect. This new loophole will give polluters a 15-year reprieve from having to install state-of-the- art pollution controls.

New Source Review directly benefits public health by requiring the oldest and dirtiest industrial facilities to add state-of-the-art pollution controls whenever they make major modifications that significantly increase air pollution.

"Today's announcement is nothing more than a death sentence for Texas’ refinery and chemical plant communities," said Denny Larson, coordinator of the Refinery Reform Campaign of the SEED Coalition. "These communities cannot suffer another roll-back of the Clean Air Act." "Over 130,000 Americans who value public health told the Administration to strengthen, not weaken, New Source Review during a public comment period last year," said Hadden. "These changes signal a roadmap for more pollution and thousands more premature deaths." "There is no good reason why industries can't meet modern standards when they expand."

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1002 West Ave. n Austin, TX 78701 n (512) 477-1155 n www.citizen.org/texas

 

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