OTAG Makes Recommendations to EPA
Does cleaner air mean lighter pockets?
The Ozone Transport Advisory Group has recommended that the EPA should let states adopt a range of emissions levels to help meet ozone standards, which could tap into utilities' profits. The proposal comes two years after OTAG was formed to study region-to-region airborne movements of smog, a byproduct of ozone.
Coal-fired power plants and vehicle exhaust are the biggest contributors to ozone, due to emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.
Where NOx control costs shake out, however, still depends on how the Environmental Protection Agency works the OTAG recommendations into its pollution rules on ozone and particulates, or soot. The EPA had proposed revisions to ozone and particulate standards on Nov. 27. See, National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Proposed Decision, EPA Dkt. No. A-95-58, 61 Fed.Reg. 65716 (Dec. 13, 1996); National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter: Prop. Decision, EPA Dkt. No. A-95-54, 61 Fed.Reg. 65638, (Dec. 13, 1996).
President Clinton came out in support of tougher regulations in late June, however, and his version varies only slightly from the set the EPA unveiled last fall. Clinton's support was expected to make it easier to adopt new rules, though Congress could try to throw up a roadblock. One leading voice against the EPA's revisions is Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), ranking minority member of the House Commerce Committee.