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. New clean air rules may endanger parks

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) May 16, 2008
National parks and wilderness areas may soon have neighboring power plants under a proposed set of air quality rules from U.S. officials, scientists say.

Environmental engineer Don Shepherd said the proposed changes by U.S. President George Bush's administration to the Clean Air Act could potentially create 28 new power plants near 10 national parks and pose a significant risk to such locales, The Washington Post said Friday.

"I don't know of anyone at our level, who deals with this day to day, that likes it or thinks it's going to make sense," the National Park Service official said.

While current clean air regulations monitor both daily and three-hour increments to determine the levels of dangerous emissions, the government has proposed such levels be averaged out during the scope of a year.

Shepherd told the Post by averaging out emissions, the government would be allowed to create new plants by the federally protected areas and further impact the surrounding environment.

"We really want to have clean air at national parks all the time, and not just at average times," Shepherd said. "All of our national parks have impaired visibility ... It would really be a setback in trying to make progress."

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