By Associated Press - Monday, April 13, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A proposed federal plan to reduce emissions in Arkansas and Missouri could end up costing Arkansas utility companies more than $1 billion.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ( ) reports utility representatives will attend a hearing Thursday about the plan at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality headquarters. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze Rule plan would require retrofitting nine units at six power plants in the state with emission-controlling scrubbers.

The policy would implement rules approved in 1999 at the federal level for all states to increase visibility in national parks and wildlife areas. The Caney Creek Wilderness Area and the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area in Arkansas will be targeted by the plan for emissions-reduction.

Arkansas Electric Cooperation Corp. owns 35 percent of each of the state’s largest coal plants: the White Bluff plant and Independence plant. Officials with the cooperatives say the company plans to install two emissions-reducing scrubbers at the White Bluff coal plant in Redfield at the cost of $400 million each.

Entergy, which owns the remaining 65 percent of the two plants, has not commented on how it would comply with the proposed plan.

Glen Hooks, executive director of the Arkansas Sierra Club, has supported the plan since it was first announced about a month ago.

“We are supporting the draft regional haze plan, because it will help reduce haze pollution in our national parks and wildlife areas and it might also lead to the promotion of cleaner energy resources in our state,” he said Friday.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

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