Three coal-fired power plants in Arizona would need more pollution-trapping devices under a proposal released late Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

One is between Winslow and Holbrook, one on the Arizona-New Mexico border and a third east of Tucson.

The measure would "improve visibility and human health" at 18 national parks and wilderness areas, including Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest, the EPA projected.

That would bring clearer views to some 11 million national park visitors in Arizona, the EPA stated.

There were no immediate estimates of cost on Tuesday.

Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City, owned by Arizona Public Service, is one of the nearest plants to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon proposed for more pollution controls.

Specifically, the EPA would propose to cut 7,800 tons a year of nitrogen oxide emissions, a key ingredient in bad ozone -- or smog) at Cholla.

The EPA's proposal comes on the heels of litigation by nine environmental groups after the EPA missed legal deadlines for limiting pollution from Arizona power plants and factories.

The groups cheered Monday's announcement on Tuesday.

"This is a plan to finally get some very polluting coal plants out of the 1960s and '70s where they've been stuck," said Anna Frazier with Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment (Diné CARE).

Fine-particulate pollution from the power plant in Joseph City likely contributed to 39 heart attacks and 460 asthma attacks annually, a study from the nonprofit Clean Air Task Force stated.

The EPA plans to make a final decision in November.

(5) comments


What happened to the 54 million dollars spent on Cholla for
carbon sequestration?


Carbon sequestration does not have anything to do with limiting the particle air pollution (soot) that is belched out of the power plants, which is hazardous to human health directly.


Thanks EPA, you now are 100% responsable for higher electric bills for every AZ resident. Remember to vote out Obama in Nov. Don't for the party who let this happen.


What hasn't been admitted is that the majority of the air pollutants in the Grand Canyon come from the LA basin.


The EPA was created by the executive order of R. Nixon, a republican. It was and still is a good idea. Pollution kills, causes cancer, increases medical costs, reduces quality of life. We all pay for pollution, far more than you save on your power bill. If anything, the EPA needs greater power. We would all be more prosperous if we had a cleaner world.

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