EPA holds hearing to get community input on new coal pollution regulations

Friday May 25 2012

Pilsen Alliance organizer gives compelling testimony at hearing held at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building.

CHICAGO – The EPA held a 12 hour hearing yesterday, as environmentalist and concerned citizens voiced their opinions in support of a proposed rule that will limit the amount of pollution that coal power plants can emit when they produce energy.

Although many conservatives and coal energy provider think the new regulations to be too strict, the White House, the EPA, and others applaud the regulation, which will set the limit to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour produced.

Pilsen Alliance lead organizer, Maria Torres, testified to the crowded room in support of the EPA and its efforts to curtail the pollution caused by coal burning power plants. “The EPA’s carbon pollution standard for new power plants is an important step in making sure that the health problems we have had in Little Village and Pilsen are not revisited by others in the future.” Maria is a resident of Little Village and organizes in Pilsen.

The EPA regulation will make it more costly for energy companies to operate coal plants. The EPA, along with The White House, hope that this will push the move away from coal and introduce innovations in alternative forms of energy producing; like gas, wind, and solar.

The original hearing was slated to go from 8am to 5pm, but because of the overwhelming turn out by passionate proponents of clean air, the hearing was split between two rooms and was extended an extra 3 hours so that those who came out could voice their opinions. The EPA also held a hearing in Washington D.C., which had a great result as well.

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