National Park, Meet Coal Smog

Over own experts' objections, EPA moves to allow power plants closer to rec areas
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 4:03 PM CDT
The base of a giant redwood tree frames this view of other redwoods near the Bohemian Grove at the Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County, Calif., Monday, March 31, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Environmental Protection Agency is set to change its rules to allow the construction of coal power plants in previously off-limits areas near national parks, the Christian Science Monitor reports. A draft revision to the Clean Air Act would soften standards of pollution in “Class 1” areas (ie, national parks) and how much pollution a proposed plant would add.

Under the new rules, firms looking to build a plant would judge their emissions with a yearly average—where the current standard looks at pollution spikes on a day-to-day basis. In addition, pollution from emitters that have been granted exceptions would be excluded from evaluations of how much smog an area can stand. (Read more national park stories.)