Air pollution from US power plants to be cut
The new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) replaces and strengthens the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). By 2014, this rule and other state and EPA actions are expected to reduce SO2 emissions by 73 per cent from 2005 levels, and NOx emissions by 54 per cent.
According to the EPA, the new rule, which affects 27 states in the eastern half of the country, will reduce smog and soot pollution in communities that are home to 240 million Americans, preventing up to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 19,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 400,000 cases of aggravated asthma, and 1.8 million sick days a year beginning in 2014, thus achieving up to US$280 billion in annual health benefits. The benefits far outweigh the US$800 million projected to be spent annually on this rule in 2014 and the roughly US$1.6 billion per year in capital investments already underway as a result of CAIR.
The rule will level the playing field for power plants that are already controlling air pollutant emissions, by requiring more facilities to do the same.
Source: US EPA, 7 July 2011