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EPA releases regional haze plan for Texas

Friday, December 11, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

The Environmental Protection Agency released its regional haze plan for Texas on Wednesday, designed to reduce air pollution that impacts visibility in the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains national parks in Texas as well as the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. According to a Sierra Club press release, the plan puts in place new restrictions for coal-fired units in Luminant’s Big Brown, Martin Lake, Monticello and Sandow plants; NRG Energy’s Limestone plant; GDF Suez Energy’s Coleto Creek plant; Xcel Energy’s Tolk plant; and a plant owned by the San Miguel Electric Cooperative. Though none of those plants are owned directly by Austin Energy, the utility receives energy from plants across most of the state because it is part of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. Environmental advocates, including the Sierra Club and Earthjustice, praised the plan in press releases on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Luminant wrote in a press release Thursday that it believes the plan “goes far beyond the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act.”

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