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EPA Statement on Requested Extensions for Clean Air Rule Comments

Release Date: 04/29/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Cynthia Bergman, 202-564-9828 /

(Washington, D.C. - April 29, 2004) The Bush Administration’s proposed Utility Mercury Rule is the nation’s first-ever effort to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. The proposed rule, also known as the Clean Air Mercury Rule, will dramatically reduce mercury emissions and is critical to protecting public health.

As part of the settlement agreement reached under the previous Administration, the Agency had a deadline of December 15, 2004 to finalize a mercury regulation. In separate requests, EPA has been asked to withdraw the proposed rule and extend the comment period.

While the Agency has no interest in withdrawing the proposed regulation, it welcomes the opportunity to consider further information and comment. That became possible when the plaintiff in this action agreed to extend the deadline to allow time for additional comment. Today EPA extended the public comment period by 60 days, to end June 29, 2004. In addition, the Agency will conduct whatever analysis is necessary to ensure the right decision is made and meet the goal of protecting public health in the most effective way possible. This analysis will be made available for public comment prior to finalization of the rule. The mercury rule will be finalized in time to meet the new court deadline of March 15, 2005.

EPA still plans to finalize the Clean Air Interstate Rule, formally known as the Interstate Air Quality Rule, by the end of 2004.

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