Pollution rule may affect Pa.'s coal-fired plants

AP News
Posted: Dec 22, 2011 10:27 AM
Pollution rule may affect Pa.'s coal-fired plants

New federal pollution standards targeting the nation's dirtiest power plants may help lead to the shutdown of some coal-fired plants in Pennsylvania, although it's not yet clear how many.

Doug Biden of the Harrisburg-based Electric Power Generation Association said Wednesday that low natural gas prices and stubbornly high coal prices could also contribute.

Biden says he's not worried about power outages, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency has the ability under its new mercury and toxic pollutants rule to allow targeted plants to operate longer to ensure local service isn't interrupted.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project says power plants in Pennsylvania emitted more cobalt, lead and arsenic in 2010 than those in any other state. They were second in hydrochloric acid and third in mercury and selenium.