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EPA Withdraws Federal Plan and Approves Oklahoma’s Air Plan for Public Service of Oklahoma

Release Date: 02/10/2014
Contact Information: Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

DALLAS – (Feb. 10, 2014) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the approval of Oklahoma’s state clean-air plan to control regional haze from the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) two coal-fired power plants at its Northeastern Station in Oologah, OK. The state’s plan is a result of the April 2012 agreement between EPA, Oklahoma and PSO to both reduce pollution and protect Oklahoma consumers and ratepayers.

The Oklahoma regional haze plan includes using technological controls to limit emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) well as nitrogen oxide (NOx). The control technology is also intended to achieve compliance with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). By April 16, 2016, PSO will retire one of two units currently under a federal clean-air plan and install additional controls and require NOx and SO2 limits for the remaining unit. The remaining unit will be retired by December 31, 2026.

EPA also announced the withdrawal of a federal clean-air plan that applies to the PSO coal-fired power plants. EPA has worked with Oklahoma and other stakeholders to expedite the process of approving the state clean-air plan to replace the federal plan. Both the Oklahoma clean air plan approval and withdrawal of the EPA federal clean-air plan will be published in the Federal Register in 7 to 10 days. Both final rules will be effective 30 days after the publication in the Federal Register.

The regional haze rule requires air quality protection plans to reduce the pollution that causes visibility impairment in 156 national parks and wilderness areas. Some of the same pollutants that form haze have also been linked to serious health problems and environmental damage. Exposure to very small particles in the air has been linked to increased respiratory illness, decreased lung function, and even premature death.

This action will provide for better visibility in Oklahoma and areas in the downwind neighboring states of Arkansas and Missouri.

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

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