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PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2018 


The list of accusers against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to swell. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Hurricane Florence SNAPs North Carolina to attention on the importance of food benefits; plus a new report says young parents need better supports.

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Pollution Controls to Cut Haze in Grand Canyon, Other Parks

The EPA has ordered two power plants in Utah to cut emissions that cause hazy pollution in national parks and wilderness areas, including Arizona’s Grand Canyon. (National Park Service)
The EPA has ordered two power plants in Utah to cut emissions that cause hazy pollution in national parks and wilderness areas, including Arizona’s Grand Canyon. (National Park Service)
June 3, 2016

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered two coal-fired power plants in central Utah to bring emissions up to federal clean air standards to protect national parks, including the Grand Canyon.

The EPA acted in response to complaints from outdoor recreation companies in the region, who said coal haze from the generating plants was disrupting their business.

Sandy Bahr, executive director for the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter, says the EPA has to act when pollution drifts across state lines.

"Pollution doesn't recognize state boundaries," she says. "And just as coal plants in Arizona affect people and places outside of Arizona, these coal plants in Utah affect us."

The EPA says the plants must install emission controls to cut nitrogen oxide by about 10,000 tons a year within five years.

The Grand Canyon is one of multiple parks and wilderness areas in three states affected by the haze.

Power plant owners PacifiCorp disagree with the ruling and say they are evaluating their legal options.

More than 100 recreation-related businesses, along with groups in Arizona, Utah and Colorado, joined the Sierra Club petition to the EPA, citing the Clean Air Act's Regional Haze Rule.

Chris Steinkamp, executive director for the group Protect Our Winters, says outdoor recreation businesses generate billions of tourism dollars across the region.

"Our role in this was to try and unite the voices of the outdoor sports community in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, to let the EPA know that air pollution and haze has a direct impact on our tourism that is generated in national parks," says Steinkamp.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has already required the use of pollution control technology at about 250 coal-fired plants throughout the nation, including many in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ