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PA Power Plant Caps Lead Emissions

After a sustained community signature drive, the Cheswick Power Station in Pennsylvania has agreed to cap its lead emissions, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The power plant, which is owned by RRI Energy, will cap its lead emissions at 626 pounds a year, instead of the 1,800 pounds it sought from state regulators.

A citizen’s movement called Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) led the drive.

RRI arrived at the 626 pound limit by calculating an average over a 24-month period.

RRI also will increase the frequency of testing lead in the stacks to every two years, instead of every five years, according to CBS3.

RRI also said it would provide the monthly average lead content of coal burned at the plant.

The GASP signature drive came after RRI applied for a permit to install a flue gas desulfurization scrubber, which would have cut emissions. The permit, however, would have allowed a possible increase in lead emissions.

The scrubber is moving forward now, and should be operational in June.

Regarding emissions, the Clean Air Act may be “past its prime,” suggests an article at the Wall Street Journal.

“Even some experts who think the law is beneficial say its implementation has been overly expensive: Because the law is so rigid, they argue, innovative pollution-fighting ideas are sometimes stifled, driving up costs,” according to the article.

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