EPA grants New Jersey’s air quality petition regarding Pa. power plant

TRENTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted a petition submitted by the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection to limit harmful emissions from a Pennsylvania power plant.

The emissions are “adversely impacting air quality in Warren, Sussex, Morris and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey,” according to the EPA.

“This is the first single-source petition the agency has granted and it will require the Portland Generating Station in Northampton County, Pa., to significantly cut its SO2 emissions within three years, with a portion of those cuts happening by the end of the first year.”

According to a press release from the EPA, the SO2 emissions are carried across state lines by wind and weather, and can aggravate asthma and cause other respiratory problems. They can also react in the air and contribute to harmful levels of particle pollution, which is linked to widespread illnesses and premature deaths.

“As someone who lived and worked in New Jersey, I know that communities have struggled for years with pollution crossing state lines, fouling the air they breathe and threatening their health. The Cross State rule EPA finalized this year and today’s action are two important steps designed to protect communities facing these exact challenges,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

“In granting today’s petition, we’re taking a common-sense approach that gives the facility flexibility to find the most cost-effective methods for cutting pollution and for helping communities in New Jersey meet the Clean Air Act standards for sulfur dioxide.”

To view the state’s petition, visit: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/new.html.