EPA Releases Action Plans For Six Companies To Reduce Haze

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 11:34pm
Updated: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 2:51pm
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The Environmental Protection Agency released action plans for six companies in Arizona to lower haze. The rules force smelters, concrete kilns and power plants to clean up the air at nearby National Parks by reducing emissions of harmful chemicals.

Nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide are the two chemicals targeted in this rule. They contribute to haze and can cause respiratory problems. This regulation enforces standards from the Clean Air Act amendment, a federal law passed in 1999.

EPA Spokesman Jared Blumenfeld said it requires six companies in Arizona to install specific technology. 

"It’s a system of controls that you put on and install at a power generation facility and that allows you to capture those pollutants so they don’t spoil the environment," Blumenfeld said.

Tucson Electric Power is one of the companies named in the EPA plan. One of TEP’s power generating stations is switching the coal plant to using natural gas. A Freeport-McMoRan smelter in Miami is another one of the sites included in these plans.

Freeport-McMoRan said in a statement, "[t]he Miami smelter is making the investment to comply with EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards." 

Lhoist North America, ASARCO, Phoenix Cement Company and CalPortland are the other companies that have to make adjustments to meet federal standards. All six have till 2018 to comply with these rules.

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