EPA proposes new rule that could allow fewer restrictions on toxins

EPA proposes new rule that could allow fewer restrictions on toxins

As his second year comes to a close, agencies have set the regulatory wheels in motion to weaken or repeal almost a dozen Obama-era restrictions on air and water pollution or planet-warming emissions of carbon dioxide, including a plan to reduce the number of waterways that are protected from pollutants and another making it easier for utilities to build new coal plants. "Since then, scientists have said, mercury pollution from power plants has declined more than 80 percent nationwide".

The agency's reassessment of an earlier 2016 endorsement showed that complying with MATS cost the government between $7.4 billion to $9.6 billion (€6.5 billion to €8.4 billion) every year, but only brought in up to $6 million in measurable health benefits.

The EPA on Friday proposed a new rule that challenges the basis for the Obama regulation.

But environmental groups worry the move is a step toward repealing the limits and could make it harder to impose other regulations in the future.

"Although an analysis of all benefits and costs in accordance with generally recognized benefit-cost analysis practices is appropriate for informing the public about the potential effects of any regulatory action. this does not mean that equal consideration of all benefits and costs, including co-benefits, is appropriate for the specific statutory appropriate and necessary finding called for under CAA section 112 (n)(1)(A)."
On Friday, Holmstead said the agency "managed to walk a very fine line" by revising a justification for the rule while leaving pollution protections in place.

The 2011 Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, enacted under Barack Obama, the former president, led to an estimated $18 billion clean-up of mercury and other toxins from the smokestacks of coal-fired power stations.

Severe storm system that has already killed 2 moves toward eastern US
A large winter storm coming on the heels of Christmas is expected to bring snow to Nebraska, the Dakotas and Minnesota this week. Sheriff's officials say road conditions and visibility were very poor at the time of the accident which occurred about 8:30 p.m.

Wheeler, a noted former lobbyist for coal energy companies, was chosen by Trump as acting EPA administrator after Wheeler's predecessor, Scott Pruitt, was forced out over several embezzling scandals in July.

Trump's industry allies, including Robert Murray, CEO of private coal mining giant Murray Energy Corp, had complained that the MATS rule contributed to the demise of the coal business by triggering hundreds of coal-fired power plant shutdowns and driving coal demand to its lowest in decades.

Trump administration officials say the Obama EPA inflated benefits and underestimated costs.

USA coal-fired power generation has fallen more than 40 percent since a peak in 2007, while natural gas-fired generation soared by about the same amount, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Once the proposal appears in the federal register sometime in the coming weeks, the New York Times reports, the public will have 60 days to comment before any final changes are made.

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