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Mead Wants Wyoming To Control Own Air

August 8, 2012 State of Wyoming No Comments
Governor Matt Mead

It’s the forest fires, not industrial activity that are causing reduced air quality in Wyoming.  That’s what Governor Matt Mead has tried to point out as he requested the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency give Wyoming primacy in regulating regional haze. In a lettercommenting on the EPA’s disapproval of part of Wyoming’s State Implementation Plan, Governor Mead said that the federal plan would be more costly and without any apparent benefit over the state plan. The EPA’s Regional Haze Rule is intended to restore “viewsheds” in national parks, national forests and wilderness areas to their natural states by 2064. But Mead points out that in Wyoming, smoke from wildfire is the greatest haze-producing event; and especially in light of beetle-killed forests and drought-stricken brush, such fires are inevitable. While the EPA Rule intends for states to have the regulatory lead in air quality improvement, EPA’s disapproval of part of Wyoming’s SIP will result in extra supplemental controls on seven electric generating units in the state costing $77 million more under the federal plan than under the state’s plan but resulting in no perceptible improvement in visibility.

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