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6,600 Montanans Chime in on Carbon Pollution

July 2, 2012

HELENA, Mont. - A new record for the EPA on attracting comments on a decision. More than two million people commented on the new Carbon Pollution Standard in 60 days, with 6,600 of those comments coming from Montana. The rule covers carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, among other emissions.

Nancy Detrick, president of the Montana League of Women Voters says it's not surprising so many people wanted to have a say.

"It just shows that people here in Montana are concerned about the clean air, and also public health."

The League had encouraged people to comment, as did several environmental organizations. Comments criticizing the rule point out that it may be impossible for a traditional coal-fired plant to meet the standards, although easier for natural gas cycle combined plants.

These are the first-ever federal limits for carbon pollution, with Detrick noting that this doesn't cover existing plants.

"And it's aimed at new plants, and it's aimed at installing the best technology to keep what's coming out of the stacks clean."

The public comment period ended last week.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT