Missouri pollution is so bad it hurts other states. Power plants ordered to cut emissions
Published in News & Features
A Missouri spokesperson for the Sierra Club, one of the nation’s largest environmental organizations, placed the blame for the state’s high emissions squarely on utility companies.
“Utilities advocated for a do-nothing plan and that’s exactly what they got from our state regulatory agency that is more of a lapdog than (a) watchdog,” said Jenn DeRose, a representative for the group’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “The EPA’s ozone plan is critical so Missourians and downwind communities can breathe easier.”
The agency in question is the Missouri Public Service Commission, which regulates some privately owned utility providers in the state.
What does the EPA’s order mean for Kansas City?
The city’s recently passed Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the metro.
Climate Protection Steering Committee chair Robin Ganahl told The Star that the city’s plan will help contribute to NOx reductions in the state.
“The CPRP’s goal of retiring the Hawthorn coal plant by 2025, electrifying buildings and homes, building more housing near transit and jobs, and accelerating the build out of sidewalks, protected bike lanes, and expanding public transit to reduce car use would help us get there,” she said.
The Hawthorn coal plant is located northeast of downtown, just south of the Missouri river. Local environmental groups have long advocated for its closure.
Spire and Evergy, the two major utility providers in Kansas City, told The Star that the new EPA order won’t significantly affect their operations.
“Evergy has reduced the nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions at our plants both companywide and in Missouri (by) 88% since 2005,” spokesperson Kaley Bohlen told The Star. “Based on the proposed rule and measures already in place, we don’t anticipate significant challenges to meet the rule requirements.”
Bohlen added that Evergy already uses emission reduction technology on its coal power plants in Missouri.
Spire spokesperson Jason Merrill told The Star that “this (rule) does not impact our operations.”
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