Action Alerts  

April 9 Comment Deadline on NC Fossil-Fuel Loophole

Six months ago North Carolina officials proposed a loophole for 1,400 sources burning fossil fuel: coal and fuel oil. Since then, the comment deadline for the air toxics rule for these fossil-fueled industrial boilers and process heaters has been extended twice. The new deadline is April 9th. To those of you who sent comments previously, please do it again! To those of you who have not, now is the time! We believe state decision-makers are beginning to get the message: NO TOXIC LOOP HOLES! But we are in the middle of this campaign and action is critical now. We need a public hearing on fossil-fueled air pollution sources in North Carolina.

Please e-mail DAQ asking for a public hearing!

It's OK to send two e-mails to the Division of Air Quality on this, one simply asking for a public hearing and another later with further details on pollution sources in your back yard. After all, there are 1,400 smokestack industries up for exemptions in addition to the state's 14 coal-fired power plants. Please send an e-mail today!

Below are some brief talking points. We will be posting draft comments on Monday, April 6. We hope folks will take the opportunity to read them, add their own slant and send additional comments by the 9th.

Comments should be sent to the North Carolina Division of Air Quality

For more information, please contact Lou Zeller at 336-982-2691 or


We need a public hearing on fossil-fueled air pollution sources in North Carolina. On or before April 9, 2009, please join us in urging the NC Environmental Management Commission to hold a public hearing on future regulation of our state’s most polluting smokestack industries. There are three important reasons to request a hearing.

1. Recent changes in federal law make it more important than ever for North Carolina to keep its own health-based Toxic Air Pollutant program in place and make certain that air poison limits apply to all fossil-fueled combustion sources throughout the state, including coal-fired electric generating plants operated by Progress Energy and Duke Energy.

2. A public hearing now may be our only opportunity to affect federal regulation of industrial boilers. In late 2008 the Bush EPA recommended Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards for industrial boilers. One or more public hearings in North Carolina is the minimum for public participation in these EMC decisions.

The North Carolina Environmental Management Commission should halt its current rulemaking on a decade-old combustion source exemption. Instead, the state should work with the new EPA Administrator to limit hazardous air pollution from all sources for the protection of public health.