“The revised bill is a balanced, fair solution to North Carolina’s worsening air pollution problem,” said Michael Shore, Southeast air quality manager for North Carolina Environmental Defense. “Senator Metcalf, Representative Nesbitt, and Governor Mike Easley deserve credit for their leadership in cleaning up North Carolina’s dirty air. Now the House of Representatives must act responsibly and give the Clean Smokestacks Bill its full vote of confidence.”
“The broad coalition of organizations working to pass the Clean Smokestacks Bill include health, tourism, energy generating utilities, environmentalists, fish farmers, and many local governments,” said Shore. “But manufacturers and their powerful lobbyists are fighting the bill.”
The bill is based on the N.C. Clean Smokestacks Plan that was developed by a statewide environmental coalition. The bill will require emission cuts in year-round nitrogen oxides by 72% and sulfur dioxide by 73% from 1998 levels. Controlling these pollutants will also substantially reduce toxic mercury emissions. The reductions will occur over the next 12 years.