Sponsored by the 912 Project Cochise County
The Public Hearing last night of the EPA proposal to not accept AZ's Regional Haze Plan didn't go quite what the reps from the EPA expected. They didn't expect 300 people to show up in the middle of nowhere when only 62 showed up in the great metropolis of Phoenix. They didn't expect the people in rural AZ to be very well versed and educated on the issue of "haze". They didn't expect so many retired "experts" to be in this area..... and they didn't expect the sympathy for those Reps to be sent to rural AZ from San Fransciso to face the ire of the people of Cochise County.
This is a photo that was taken from Congressman Paul Gosar's Phone. What you can't see is all the people sitting in the room between the double doors or the additional room to the back left. The EPA sent 7 people down -- they thought they would have a piece of cake. Apparently, no one in Phx warned them about Cochise County citizens.....step on our rights and we will show up in droves.
Here is what we all learned from this hearing:
This started under the Bush Admin back in 2007-08 when the EPA realized that air quality around the country is pretty good, monitors of air quality are in place and all of the states were complying with the Clean Air Act. Mission accomplished?? not yet. There are still all these bureaucrats in DC and in the 9 regions that want a job so what to do, what to do??? HAZE! we can't clean up any of the pollutants-- that is done, but what about the "haze" that you see everywhere? hmmmm We'll set unreachable standards and start all over again---YES!!!
All of the states were required to submit a plan in response to the EPA "Haze" standards. Since AZ is a desert state and the stubborn facts are that there is always 12%-15% particulates in the air that create a imperceptible close up haze but can be seen in the "distance" that needs to be cleared up. Who is doing it?? Must be power plants. SUE THEM! ADEQ responded with logic so the EPA colluded with enviromental groups to sue the EPA to clean up the air with in the "regional area of all power plants" 5 deciviews. Instead of the EPA fighting the lawsuit they settled. Now WE get to pay for that settlement.
In all the statistics that were reported last night the bottom line was that it will cost each and every one of the 144,000 customers of AEPCO a minimum of $1,500 more in utility costs annually. (averaged guestimate--you may pay more or less) and you will NOT be able to tell any difference in the "haze' with the naked eye. You will need very sensitive and expensive monitoring equipment to actually measure the difference. It will costs the small cooperative power generating stations upwards of $216,000,000 each to add the required equipment to their power plants. The EPA stooges sat and listened to these statistics from the Arizona experts with deer in the headlights looks.
This agency, along with many of the Federal agencies that are NOT in the Constitution, is completely out of control of ANY elected body all the way up to the President. Think Global Warming is a hoax of junk science? "Haze" is a localized equivalent. What we heard is that all the information that is recorded and testified to in this hearing may or may not have an effect on the final decision. Don't be surprised if the EPA stands with their enviro friends and upholds their decision. So the question is "What next"?
What next is that We, the People, need to stop the EPA's unconstitutional usurpation of the state of Arizona's sovereignty. Whether that means that we start a letter writing campaign or meet them at the border with pitchforks and tar and feathers is up to them and to our elected officials.
The comment period for this debacle is extended 2 weeks and we have until August 29th for comments to be received in their office. Here are the various means of submitting your comments. You don't need to be verbose or long winded they are only going to read the first few sentences anyway.
How to contact and make comments from the Federal Register:
DATES: Written comments must be received on or before August 29, 2012.
ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by
Docket ID Number EPA- R09-OAR-2012-0398, by one of the following methods:
1. EPA direct contact info: http://www.epa.gov/region9/contact-region9.html
2. E-mail: Rory Mays firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Fax: 415-947-3579.
4. Mail or deliver: Rory Mays (AIR-2),
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX,
75 Hawthorne Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.
Deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation.
Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made
available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided,
unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose
disclosure is restricted by statute.
Be sure to include the docket number on all correspondence.
Attached are documents that explain the entire lawsuit, fact sheets and talking points if you want to read more.
On Tuesday evening, the same thing happened at the EPA meeting in Holbrook. I don't know how many people were there but their auditorium, the one they use for the Performing Arts Center of Holbrook, was full and some people were standing. The citizen speakers were magnificent in their knowledge, their documentation, their emotional love for their part of paradise. Even the tribal speakers were split... those who don't work loved the EPA proposal to "stop cancer." But the educated ones with jobs understood the issue in the same terms as everyone else in rural Arizona. One man talked about the two observatories that have made big capitol improvements in their facilities because Arizona's air is the clearest in the country!!! Of course, it was clear the two Hispanic gentlemen sent by the EPA were unmoved but they were just pawns anyway.
Let's work hard to get rid of Obama and his EPA thugs and then get rid of EPA... and all the others superfluous agencies that suck the $$ out of our pockets and shackle us with ridiculous regulatory burdens at all levels of our lives!
Glad to hear it went well, Joanne. They don't want to stop at anything, regulate pollen with the pollen police (if they'd work on the desert broom, maybe that would help the pollen, just stop with plants that could create industry in Arizona) or maybe they want to cut down on the dust while they're at it! Require everyone to spit on dirt 15 times a day and monitor to see how well that works. I'm sick and tired of the attempts to regulate everything! Time to restore sanity to decision-making.
Nothing to do with clean air...just more regulation....maybe they should start worrying about pollution from China moving 'over the US"....can you say global warming. tee hee.
Check with Gail but I think the time to get letters to them was extended to Sept 18th. That is what they had on the screen behind them. May have more time to get written responses to them.
This sound similar to the automobile catalytic converter strategy of the 70’s. Remember how those catalytic converters were going to take poisonous hydrocarbon emissions and carbonmonoxide and turn them into carbondioxide, a harmless gas?
Besides the fact that these new inventions increased fuel consumption, now that they’re on every car, the formerly harmless gas, carbondioxide, is now the great threat to the world, and life as we know it.
What is the answer? Predictably; higher taxes, bigger government and involuntary redistribution of wealth.
And “we’ve got to act now”. Before anyone demands real scrutiny.
Environmentalism is the current Anti-capitalism vehicle of choice.
For persons favoring big central government control, the next best thing to taking over the means of production, is ****to regulate the means of production, as if the government already owns it.
They never fight for ***greater liberty or less control. Non-elected governing bureaucracies are their best hope. That’s why they much prefer globalism over national sovereignty. And that’s why environmentalists threaten, and would weaken our military, because it protects national sovereignty. Our enemies hope*** that we will no longer be able to afford to defend ourselves.
And they disdain State sovereignty because of the State’s potential to thwart the air grabbing, land grabbing, water grabbing, and gun grabbing efforts of the EPA, the Forest Service, the BLM, the Fish and Wildlife Service, BATF etc.*****
If you want to know if the US government is overstepping its bounds, just ask yourself, “Would the original States have ratified the Constitution *** if it said *a federal bureaucracy could attempt control a State’s air, ****and threaten the State’s economy?”
I say we should repel the overreaching Federal Government. We should not advance the economically crippling effects of renewable, sustainable EPA regulations.
Don’t let the screen door hit you, on your way out of Arizona.
By Dana Cole
Created Aug 16 2012 - 6:11pm
The room was standing room only Wednesday evening as area residents attended a hearing hosted by the federal Environmental Protection Agency in Benson. The hearing focused on an EPA plan to eliminate "regional haze" pollution.
BENSON – It was standing room only at the Cochise College Benson Center on Wednesday, where representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency listened to strong opposition regarding the agency’s proposed emissions control regulations for three coal-fired power plants in Arizona.
Between 250 and 300 people packed the building for a public hearing where they voiced objections about the EPA’s proposed action that aims to reduce “regional haze,” a problem the agency says is impacting visibility conditions in numerous national parks and wilderness areas throughout Arizona.
The EPA has determined that one of the best strategies for achieving its visibility goal is to require selective catalytic reduction — or SCR — technology on older power plants. Along with the Apache Generating Station, located south of Willcox in Cochise, two other power plants affected by the EPA’s proposal are Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns and the Cholla Power Plant near Holbrook. Combined, the three plants impact 18 of the Class 1 areas the EPA is proposing to protect, including the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest. The Apache Generating Station, which is owned by Arizona Electric Power Cooperative and provides power to most of Cochise County, impacts nine of those areas.
The debate pits economics against a visibility benefit, with AEPCO estimating the proposed technology could cost as much as $218 million.
“This would translate to nearly a 20 percent hike in AEPCO’s wholesale power costs,” said Patrick Ledger, AEPCO’s chief executive officer. “These outrageous costs would be passed on to our distribution cooperative owners and would place an unacceptable burden on their rural consumer members.” Massive cost increases, he added, will impact the economic viability of Apache’s steam units, possibly resulting in a shutdown.
Gary Pierce, chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission, opposes the EPA’s proposal, but supports a state plan for emissions control that has been approved by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Pierce does not believe the environmental benefits of the EPA’s federal implementation plan come “even close to surviving a good faith cost-benefit analysis,” noting that the regional haze concern does not impact human health, only human vistas.
“Even if we were to accept EPA’s cumulative deciview model, which we believe is legally flawed, the EPA’s federal implementation plan would provide negligible benefit to human vistas,” Pierce said. “The EPA’s proposal will impose significant costs upon Arizona utilities … and result in no perceptible improvement over the ADEQ’s state implementation plan.”
Pierce is urging the EPA to withdraw the federal plan for the “three plants in question and work with ADEQ to remedy any deficiencies in the state implementation plan, as proposed.”
Eric Massey, director of the ADEQ air quality division, also urged the EPA to withdraw its proposed plan and “open a dialog with the state to constructively move forward in approval of the state’s plan.” In his opening remarks, Massey said, “Arizona has been a pioneer and partner in both establishing and achieving regional haze objectives in the West.” When looking at regional haze standards, Massey argued that a cost analysis needs to be considered in determining reasonable controls. “What EPA is proposing is not only unreasonable, but unnecessary,” he said.
Arizona Senator Gail Griffin also spoke of the proposal’s economic impact to the area, stating “there is no way AEPCO can absorb these costs.” Griffin said if AEPCO is required to install the proposed technology, the cost will endanger the viability and sustainability of the power plant, which employs 250 residents in some of the county’s more economically depressed areas. Griffin challenged the EPA to focus its regulatory efforts on pollution coming into Arizona from landfills in Mexico. She also pointed to the number of wildfires across the state in recent years, which she said are the result of “failed federal land management policies on federal land.”
Griffin concluded her comments with, “Now let’s look at the benefits of the EPA plan. What are the benefits? The answer is, none.”
Also on the subject of the proposal’s economic impact, Robert Carreira, director of the Cochise College Center for Economic Research, addressed an appropriate balance between protecting the environment and growing the economy, placing emphasis on timing. “Appropriate times are largely tied to the performance of the economy,” Carreira said. “The same goes for regulation.” While Carreira noted that the costs of compliance will have a considerable impact no matter when it’s done, he urged the EPA to wait until unemployment is below 6 percent. That way, if jobs are lost, it’s easier for people to find new jobs, he argued. “If we lose a considerable number of jobs now, or even in the next couple of years as compliance costs begin to accrue, the results could be devastating,” he warned. “I urge you to substantially delay implementation of this regulation or find a less costly way to achieve the results you’re looking for.”
In his statement to the EPA, Russell Smoldon, senior director of state government relations at the Salt River Project (SRP) Agricultural Improvement and Power District, described the three power plants as vital economic engines for the rural communities they serve. SRP provides electric service to more than 950,000 customers and operates the Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns, one of the three facilities affected by the EPA’s proposed action, Smoldon said. While SRP is in the final stages of installing $500 million worth of new pollution equipment at Coronado, the EPA’s proposed plan is calling for additional controls, even before the current equipment installation process is complete, said Smoldon, who referred to the EPA as “misguided and unsupported.”
The EPA also heard from Steve Lines, the general manager and CEO of Graham County Electric Cooperative, Mike Pearce, CEO of Duncan Valley Electric in Duncan, Ariz., Kevin Short, general manager of Anza Electric Cooperative out of Anza, Calif. and Creden Huber, CEO of Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative. The hearing drew lawmakers, community leaders, mayors from different towns, business and utility executives, educators, members of the medical field, economists and concerned citizens.
Of the nearly 50 speakers, all but two objected to the EPA’s proposal.
In a brief statement, Kevin Dahl, who introduced himself as program manager for the national parks system spoke in support of the plan, stating that the EPA’s pollution controls will protect air quality at national parks. He said the agency’s approach will help achieve clear skies and enhance the health of plants, animals and the land itself. “Our parks are a great resource for us and we have an obligation to protect them,” Dahl said.
Barbara Warren, a physician, talked about the thousands of tons of nitrous oxide the three plants release in the air every year. “Pollution from these three plants contributes to $314 million in health costs in Arizona every year,” Warren said. The pollution causes cardiovascular disease and asthma in children, she added. Warren urged the EPA to enforce its pollution control proposal, calling the three facilities “antiquated toxic coal plants.”
While the EPA is proposing to approve a portion of Arizona’s emissions control plan, the agency wants more limits on nitrogen oxides, or NOx emissions, said Colleen McKaughan, associate director of regional air quality. She says it’s the NOx issue that is sparking the debate. McKaughan said NOx emissions at the Apache Generating Station are 4,700 tons/year and that none of the three facilities are equipped with adequate technology to control NOx.
Comments from the EPA hearings and public comment period, which extends through Sept. 18, 2012, will be reviewed and a decision regarding the EPA’s proposal will be made based on the information gathered, McKaughan said. The EPA is still in the process of collecting public input and will consider economic impacts and other concerns that have been raised before making a final decision.
The deadline for final EPA action is Nov. 15, 2012.
The EPA will be exchanging information regarding a proposed rule on regional haze during a public comment period which extends through Sept. 18, 2012. Comments can be sent to the EPA website, www.epa.gov/region9/air/actions/littleaz.html#all . For those who would prefer to write to the agency, correspondence should be sent to: Thomas Webb Air-2; Air Division Planning Office; U.S. EPA; 75 Hawthorn St.; San Francisco, CA 94105.
have to enter phrase that brings up the two regulations - EPA, coal, particulates does it. Comment period says AUGUST 31, 2012. They ask what 'agency'...yada yada...so I just put private citizen.