Environmental chief supports delay in air rules

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The state's top anti-pollution official says utilities that operate power plants in Arkansas should be allowed to wait and see what air-quality standards are imposed by federal authorities.

Teresa Marks, director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, said in a news release Friday that would be the most practical way to deal with a situation that could catch the utilities in a bind.

Marks said that if the companies work to meet the 2013 deadline, they could find out later that they actually have to meet stiffer standards set by the federal Envionmental Protection Agency.

She said she is recommending that the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission grant a variance from the state's current Oct. 15, 2013, deadline for meeting emissions requirements based on the EPA's Regional Haze Rule. The PC&E Commission supervises ADEQ.

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