Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to “address Clean Air Act requirements to protect visibility in national parks and wilderness areas, such as Big Bend National Park in Texas.” The rule would require six power plants in Texas to cut sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 80,000 tons per year:
- W.A. Parish Station is in Fort Bend County (approximately 25 miles southwest of Houston, TX).
- Fayette Power Project is in Fayette County (approximately halfway between Austin and Houston, TX).
- Coleto Creek Plant is in Goliad County (approximately 140 miles southwest of Houston, TX).
- Martin Lake Electrical Station is in Rusk County (in East Texas, approximately 140 miles east of Dallas, TX).
- Welsh Power Plant is in Titus County (in East Texas, approximately 130 miles east of Dallas, TX).
- Harrington Station is in Potter County (in Amarillo, TX, in the Texas Panhandle).
Environment Texas and our allies have been working to improve air quality in our national parks for over a decade, so this announcement is a long time coming and great news for public health and Big Bend National Park. Once the proposal is officially published in the federal register, the public will have sixty days to comment.