DENVER — Federal regulators will continue to push for the cleanup of coal power plants in the southwestern area of the state, even during these tough economic times. In fact, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson noted during her Denver visit on Monday that the Obama administration has pledged that his administration will not reduce environmental rules because of a slow economy.
Joe Hanel reported in the Durango Herald that many coal plants in southwestern Colorado did not invest in new pollution control technology in good economic times and now they cannot afford it. She says people with respiratory problems are paying the price. Jackson praised Colorado’s plan to retire coal plants and replace them with natural gas-powered generators during a visit Monday to Denver.
In 2009, the EPA blocked a permit for the proposed Desert Rock coal power plant in the Four Corners area, and is requiring better pollution-control equipment on existing power plants.
“The problem with many plants that we’re facing today is that they have not in good economic times invested in pollution control technologies. And now they are sort of gasping on the very end of life support to keep running. But the people who are paying the price are these children and our elderly people who have respiratory diseases,” Jackson said when asked about the New Mexico plants.
According to Jackson, the agency will finalize by Dec. 16 a rule limiting mercury pollution from power plants.