below was used as an automatic email letter that
was sent to Governor Hunt and North Carolina
state policy makers in support of the People's
Plan for Clean Air during July and August 2000.
Comment Deadline was September 1, 2000.
Dear Governor Hunt:
I write to urge you to support the People's Plan for Clean Air. This year the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission will decide on a plan to reduce ozone pollution from coal-fired power plants. The People's Plan would require 80% reduction in ozone-causing nitrogen oxide pollution.
A loophole in the Clean Air Act exempts coal-fired power plants in North Carolina from meeting modern air pollution standards. These plants are able to pollute at levels four to ten times higher than modern plants. North Carolina has fourteen aging coal-fired power plants operated by Duke Power and Carolina Power & Light. These plants account for 72% of nitrogen oxide emissions, also called NOx, from all stationary air pollution sources in the state, over 490 million pounds per year. Seventy-eight percent of the ozone monitors in North Carolina are recording violations of clean air health standards; 3.2 million people live in the counties which do not meet the standard. And the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has the worst air of any US national park.
The EMC should approve the People's Plan for 80% NOx reductions at all fourteen power plants, because 1) it is the only alternative that will ensure timely compliance with Environmental Protection Agency's regional plan for ozone reduction, and 2) greater reductions in nitrogen dioxide are needed to reduce ozone and clean up North Carolina's air. As you know, North Carolina has a deadline of October 28, 2000 to submit a plan to get the NOx reductions required by the EPA.
The People's Plan was developed by the NC Clean Air Coalition and would achieve an 80% reduction in NOx by putting a cap on NOx emissions of 23,000 tons. The cost of this plan is reasonable, about $1.20 per month per household added to the average electric bill. Last year the General Assembly passed a law reducing automobile pollution, but much more needs to be done to achieve safe ozone levels in North Carolina.
I support adoption by the EMC of the People's Plan which will protect people's health-especially for children and the elderly, reduce the severity of summer ozone pollution, and close the loophole for coal-fired power plants.