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New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Construction Commences on Enel’s Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota

Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), the US renewable energy company of the Enel Group, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota.

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Industry News

Bush Administration Exempts Plants from Installing Clean Air Components

LCG, August 29, 2003-Administration officials changed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) rules regarding allowable construction on aging power plants, refineries, and factories.

The EPA will now allow owners of older plants to rebuild and expand existing structures without meeting current air pollution standards.

The 1977 Clean Air Act's "new source review" altered rules so that aging plants and factories could continue operation even if they did not meet tougher, newly applied pollution rules. However, the rule did not allow plants to undergo any expansion without meeting the new air quality restrictions.

Now the EPA will allow older plants and factories to replace equipment and expand old facilities, just as long as the price of new construction is 20 percent or less of the cost to replace the plant's production system.

Marianne L. Horinko, acting administrator while the EPA has no head, signed the rule on Wednesday. Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt will soon take office as head of the EPA.

Many members of the U.S. Congress and other officials, such as New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, have voiced outrage at the new rule, asserting that the nation's health will suffer as a result. The American Lung Association has adamantly opposed the new rule, saying the EPA should protect public health instead of supporting industry.

The EPA insists that the changes will have little effect on air pollution and will simply allow old plants and refineries to become more energy efficient. EPA officials did not comment on whether or not the new rule would allow older, pollution limit-exempt plants to live longer industry lives.

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