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Opposition mounts to clean air change affecting parks

Opposition mounts to clean air change affecting parks



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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Critics fear the Environmental Protection Agency intends to make it easier to build polluting coal-fired power plants near national parks.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee tells The Associated Press the EPA proposal is "full of errors" and he is building a bipartisan coalition to overturn it if it's adopted.

The EPA proposes to issue permits for new projects based on annual average air pollution instead of peak periods of emissions. An agency spokeswoman says the rule won't result in more pollution.

Conservationists list Utah's Capitol Reef and Zion national parks among the 10 most at-risk.

More than 20 coal-fueled power plants are under construction and more than 100 planned.

Democratic senators from Delaware, Maryland, Colorado and Montana and Republicans from New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia have joined Alexander's opposition.

The National Parks Conservation Association considers the following 10 national parks as most at risk from pollution from new coal-fired power plants either planned or under development near them:

  • Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and North Carolina
  • Shenandoah, Virginia
  • Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
  • Theodore Roosevelt, North Dakota
  • Mesa Verde, Colorado
  • Capitol Reef, Utah
  • Zion, Utah
  • Great Basin, Nevada
  • Wind Cave, South Dakota

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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