In late August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released new draft rules to regulate pollution from coal-fired power plants. The analysis released with the EPA’s proposed regulations acknowledges that the new rules would result in more pollution and as many as 1,400 more premature deaths each year by 2030.
The new rules replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which was opposed by the coal industry and never enacted after being halted by the Supreme Court. The EPA’s proposal encourages existing power plants to become more efficient but drops federal emissions requirements, allowing states to regulate with looser standards instead.
The fine particles released in smoke and soot created by burning coal are linked to negative health outcomes such as heart and lung disease. According to the EPA’s analysis, the new rules would result in 40,000 new cases of asthma and tens of thousands of missed school days. — By Elizabeth E. Payne