A publication of Appalachian Voices

A publication of Appalachian Voices

Energy Report

EPA Action to Prevent Power Plant Pollution

By Dan Radmacher

A suite of rules released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 25 will limit greenhouse gas emissions, pollution in wastewater, and the amount of mercury and other airborne toxics from the nation’s power plants.

In addition, the EPA finalized a rule to extend cleanup requirements to hundreds of old coal ash dumps that weren’t covered by previous rules.

The rules will save thousands of lives, prevent hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks, and result in $370 billion of health and climate benefits between now and 2047, according to EPA estimates.

“Today’s announcement by the Biden–Harris administration marks a huge win for the country — and especially communities whose residents have suffered and fought the impacts of power plant pollution for decades,” said Tom Cormons, executive director of Appalachian Voices, the organization that publishes this newspaper.

Advocates expressed hope that the new rules would encourage utilities to invest in renewable energy to replace aging coal-fired power plants and re-think massive methane gas buildouts they’re currently planning.

Events in recent years — such as rolling blackouts during Winter Storm Elliott in 2022 — have shown that fossil-fuel plants aren’t always reliable during extreme weather that has become more common as the result of climate change. Price volatility of natural gas has also saddled utility customers with large rate increases.

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2024 — Spring

2024 — Spring

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