Sep. 27, 2017  – WSIL (ABC 3)

Proposed rule changes for coal-powered plants could help save hundreds of jobs in small communities like Joppa, but they’ve caused a big controversy that’s made its way into the Illinois governor’s race.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration wants to impose annual caps on the amount of harmful pollutants coal plants can release into the air.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said the proposed amendments to the state’s multi-pollutant strategy would limit sulfur dioxide emissions to 55,000 tons per year and limit nitrogen oxide emissions to 25,000 tons per year.

“These amendments, if adopted by the Illinois Pollution Control Board, would impose a hard limit on tons of emissions from power plants for the first time,” said Kim Biggs, the public information officer for the Illinois EPA. “To be very clear, these new tonnage limits are considerably lower than what the units are now allowed to emit based on emission rates that are contained in the MPS as it now exists.”

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