The new rules are aimed at cutting power plant emissions that waft across state lines into states in the eastern U.S., including Maine.
Environmental and health groups in Maine are praising new federal rules aimed at cutting pollution from power plants that wafts across the state lines.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday released the rules, which set new limits on power plant emissions that cause acid rain and ground level ozone, or smog.
“Because Maine is at the end of the tailpipe for the nation’s air pollution, we have the most to gain from the new standards that will help cut ozone smog emissions from power plants that flow here from across state lines,” says Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
The American Lung Association of New England says the new rules will save lives in the region. “New England residents can breathe just a bit easier today,” says CEO and President Jeffrey Seyler, in a statement. “With the passage of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken an important step toward protecting the health of all Americans, including those who live downwind of power plants that belch out life-threatening pollution.”>/p>
The EPA says the stricter emissions limits will prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of aggravated asthma a year in the eastern U.S., along with tens of thousands of premature deaths, non-fatal heart attacks and acute bronchitis.
The rules, along with other state and EPA actions, are expected to cut sulfur dioxide emissions 73 percent from 2005 levels by 2014, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 54 percent. Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, causes acid rain and nitrogen oxide, or NOx, contributes to smog.