PPL earned $1.1 billion in profits in 2013, and can afford to clean up its toxic air pollution at its Colstrip coal-fired power plant. It just doesn’t want to spend the money. PPL just asked the State to give it another year before it has to control its toxic air pollution. Tell DEQ to say NO to this appalling corporate handout!
After decades of delay, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted the first-ever federal limits for toxic air pollutants from coal-fired power plants in 2012. The regulation, known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), requires coal-fired power plants to reduce toxic air pollutants such as mercury, arsenic, and heavy metals by 2015. These pollutants harm public health, they harm the environment, and power plants have been pumping massive quantities of such toxins into the air for far too long.
Now PPL, the operator of the Colstrip coal plant, has asked the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for yet another delay – this time for an entire year – before having to control Colstrip’s toxic air pollution. DEQ should protect the public’s right to breathe clean air. It should protect public health not corporate polluters! It should just say NO!
These toxic air pollution requirements became law 24 years ago but were not applied to the politically powerful companies with coal plants until 2012. PPL has been determining how best to comply with the standards since 2010. A year ago it determined what technology it needed to install and when it wanted to install it. It is appalling that PPL is now asking DEQ to give it more time to comply simply because it will delay when the company has to spend money. Saving PPL money is not DEQ’s job. Protecting public health is. DEQ should tell PPL to spend just a small fraction of its $1.1 billion in 2013 profits on air pollution controls – it is the right thing to do.