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EPA approves La. regional haze plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Dec. 15 it is approving the state of Louisiana's clean-air plan for regional haze.

The agency determined Louisiana's proposed plan would make "reasonable progress" toward reducing haze and establishes a long-term strategy and requirements for electric-generating and non-electric-generating units to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act's Regional Haze Rule.

Louisiana's plan includes reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter using retrofit technology at six electric-generating units and three other facilities. The plan also includes emissions limits at NRG Energy Inc.'s Big Cajun 2, which is not subject to the requirements, according to a news release.

Under the regional haze rule, states must submit plans to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. The regional haze rule call for achieving natural visibility conditions in wilderness areas all over the U.S. In Louisiana that includes the Breton National Wildlife Refuge off the state's eastern coast.