Electricity Daily

A Publication of The Electricity Journal

Volume 8, Number 115   Tuesday, June 17, 1997

E-Mail: electric@electricity-online.com

UARG to Browner: Shut Up Already, About Utility Emissions

The electric utility industry has called on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner to stop bashing electric utilities on air emissions. Defending her plans to clamp down on ozone and small particulates, Browner recently told a congressional committee that reducing ozone and small particulates is "about large utilities." (ED, June 4). In a letter to Browner last week, Charles Goodman, Southern Co.'s veteran of the clean-air wars, a member of EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, and current chairman of the Utility Air Regulatory Group, wrote, "Such statements are inappropriate, unwarranted and not supportable."

The utility industry, Goodman told Browner, produces less than half of the national NOx emissions, and less than one percent of volatile organic compounds. "As a result," he said, "controlling only utility emissions will not lead to attainment of the proposed standards throughout the country." He added that modeling performed by the Ozone Transport Assessment Group shows that "even eliminating NOx emissions from electric utilities would not by itself lead to attainment of the present ozone standard--much less a more stringent eight-hour standard--throughout the OTAG region."

Focusing on utilities as a source of small particulates is even more problematic, said Goodman. The best PM2.5 data, he said, "suggests that nonattainment of the proposed PM2.5 standard is not driven by power plant emissions. For example, these California data show that large areas of California would not attain the proposed PM2.5 standard even though (1) SO2 emissions from utility coal-fired power plants are essentially non-existent, and (2) the emissions of all other PM2.5 precursors from utility sources are heavily controlled."

The Electricity Daily

Publisher: Robert O. Marritz

Editor: Kennedy Maize

Editorial Desk: (301) 834-8098, fax (301) 834-5157.


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