Senators Seek Withdrawal of Weak Park Air Rules

Eight U.S. senators on June 23 urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson to withdraw a rule that would weaken air regulations near national parks, wilderness areas, and other scenic lands.

A letter, signed by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), John Warner (R-Va.) and John Tester (D-Mont.), criticized a rule proposed by the EPA in June 2007 that would "result in a significant undercounting of actual pollution sources, such as coal-fired power plants, permitting them to emit more pollution into national parks and wilderness areas."

"At a time when we are about to make some progress in reducing air pollution, this rule would take us backwards by weakening clean air rules and making it easier to build new coal-fired power plants near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other parks and wilderness areas," Alexander said. "If the EPA insists on moving forward with this rule in its present form, I will introduce legislation to overturn it."

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