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EPA Asked To Stop New Coal Plants

Sierra Club's Eva Hernandez presents box full of comments calling for EPA to stop state approval of new coal plants

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

Environmental groups want the EPA to step-in and stop the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality from approving new coal plants. KERA's BJ Austin says a handful of protestors delivered that message outside the Environmental Protection Agency offices in downtown Dallas Thursday.

Eva Hernandez, with the Sierra Club, says the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently received notice it is not following the federal Clean Air Act in certain permit procedures. Hernandez, and other clean air advocates, want a halt to state permits for a dozen new coal-fired power plants - starting with the Limestone plant near Houston. Its permit decision is expected in the next three weeks.

Hernandez; The issuing of this permit would be proof that the EPA should step in and halt any new air pollution permits from being issued by the TCEQ until they agree to abide by the federal law, and abide by the Clean Air Act.

Hernandez says the 17 coal plants operating in the state are responsible for more than half of the air pollution. Mark Vickery, TCEQ Chairman, says under current permitting rules, Texas air quality has been improved.

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