- Associated Press - Saturday, July 2, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says St. Bernard Parish is the only parish in Louisiana not meeting federal sulfur dioxide pollution standards.

The EPA issued its determination on Friday. Earlier this year, EPA was considering to place DeSoto Parish as out of compliance over sulfur dioxide standards.

But computer modeling showed that the Dolet Hills Power Station was in compliance, said Vivian Aucoin, senior scientist with the state Department of Environmental Quality’s air permits division.

“This was good news for Louisiana,” she told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/29mes3Q ). “The facilities are doing what they’re supposed to.”

The finding was a disappointment to the Sierra Club, an environmental group that sued over sulfur dioxide pollution.

“EPA’s reversal is astonishing and will put the health of thousands of people at risk,” said Woody Martin, chairperson for the Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club.

He charged that there is a lot of pollution spewing from Dolet Hills. “We will do everything we can to strengthen protections against this dangerous pollutant,” he said.

St. Bernard was listed as not meeting the standards during a first round of EPA designations in 2013. Facilities there have until 2018 to meet the standard.

State officials were pleased by EPA’s findings.

According to the EPA, sulfur dioxide can cause breathing problems, including increasing asthma symptoms.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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