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Deal would force coal-fired power plants in West to cut more pollution

June 19, 2011

A decade-old mandate to enforce the Clear Air Act for coal-fired power plants will require 18 plants in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming to install new technologies to reduce emissions and decrease haze in surrounding areas. Utilities had already reduced plant emissions over the last decade to decrease pollution in habitable areas, the new standards target old plants previously exempted from the Clean Air Act because they were grandfathered in, and are aimed at decreasing haze in 156 national parks, wilderness areas to much lower levels still. While many think of the endless vistas of the western states, in many places haze is a major problem that can decrease visibility by more than half.

The increased enforcement is a result of an agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and three other groups, and will become final if a federal judge approves it after a mandatory 30 day comment period. “We’re getting the low-hanging fruit and we expect huge reductions from that effort,” said Gail Fallon, an EPA haze program manager based in Denver. Similar agreements in the works for many more states.

Read article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_6eb579f8-9a88-11e0-8f2d-001cc4c002e0.html

UP’s PRB coal train loadings climbed in November

December 7, 2010

Union Pacific is reporting a small increase in the number of coal-trains leaving the Southern Powder River Basin in November 2010, compared with the same period the year before (968 trains per day versus 939). During the same period, loadings in the Utah/Colorado region dropped from 245 to 189.

Read article at http://www.progressiverailroading.com/news/article/UP%E2%80%99s-PRB-coal-train-loadings-climbed-in-November–25200

Bonding Adequacy Oversight Report – Western Region – Dept of Interior – 2010

State by state survey of practices for bonding coal mines. Published July 8, 2010

/documents/bonding-adequacy-oversight-report-western-region-dept-of-interior-2010