Public Works board shows disapproval of air toxic standards

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

According to Marshall Municipal Utilities General Manager Kyle Gibbs, the Missouri Public Utility Alliance has asked its members for assistance regarding air toxicity legislation currently in Washington, D.C.

"A senator from Oklahoma is putting in a bi-partisan resolution of disapproval for the new mercury air toxic standards," Gibbs said during a Board of Public Works meeting Tuesday, June 12.

The legislation is debatable as some feel more regulations should be put in place to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, while others argue the tightened regulations are too stringent and could raise the cost of energy across the nation.

On its website, the EPA states mining, cleaning and transporting coal to a power plant generate additional emissions such as methane.

"The Environmental Protection Agency, earlier this year, put in a final ruling of the mercury air toxic standards, which the impact of that -- it will close between 1,400 and 2,000 coal-fired power plants across the country," Gibbs reported.

He stated many coal-fired plants couldn't justify the cost of meeting these standards.

"This law will be the most expensive legislation that was ever put out by the EPA to date," he continued.

After approval by the board Tuesday morning, Board President Spencer Fricke will sign a letter on the utility's behalf. The letter, addressed to Senator Claire McCaskill, reflects MMU's disapproval of the legislation.

In November 2011, McCaskill voted no on a joint resolution disapproving an EPA submitted rule relating to the mitigation by states of cross-border air pollution under the Clean Air Act. In April 2011, she voted against an amendment prohibiting the administrator of the EPA from broadcasting regulation concerning, taking action relating to or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change.

In other news, contractors should finish installing the cured-in-place pipe by the end of this month, according to Underground Facilities Director Monty Chase, and bids will open the afternoon of June 12 for quotes to remove the ceiling and insulation at MMU's Business Office garage and for a Global Position System for 40 vehicles. The next regular Board of Public Works meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26.

Contact Sarah Reed at

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