EPA approves Colorado plan to reduce pollution | SummitDaily.com

EPA approves Colorado plan to reduce pollution

The Associated Press

DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given final approval to Colorado’s strategy to reduce pollution, which relies on switching some coal-fired power plants to natural gas.

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the decision on the regional haze plan Tuesday, praising it as a collaborative effort to meet national air quality standards.

In 2010 the legislature passed a law pushing the state’s two investor owned utilities, Xcel Energy and Black Hills Corp., to cut emissions by at least 70 percent over the next seven years. It was backed by both environmentalists and the natural gas industry but fought by the coal industry.

The plan aims to reduce pollutants by 70,000 tons a year at 16 facilities across Colorado, including power plants and cement kilns. The reduction includes 35,000 tons of nitrogen oxides which causes smog.