The CLEO Institute Applauds New EPA Standards to Reduce Pollution from Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Media Contact:
Raymer Maguire, Dir. of Campaigns and Policy,
407-496-0546,
rmaguire@cleoinstitute.org 

 MIAMI, FL – Today, the CLEO Institute applauds the Environmental Protection Agency’s final carbon pollution standards for power plants that set carbon dioxide (CO2) limits for new gas-fired combustion turbines and CO2 emission guidelines for existing coal, oil and gas-fired steam generating units. The new rules will secure important climate benefits and protect public health.

The CLEO Institute’s Executive Director, Yoca Arditi-Rocha, said “People often associate the transition to clean energy with the benefit of reducing the impact of climate change, but it will also have tremendous health benefits as we stop releasing hazardous toxins that come with  burning fossil fuels. We are not only working toward a cleaner and more resilient future, but a healthier one with clean air.”

The Environmental Protection Agency released four rules. Two of the rules exclusively deal with pollutants from coal-fired power plants. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, energy from coal-fired power plants represented 6% of Florida energy production in 2022 and is expected to remain part of Florida’s energy production mix for years to come. The new rules limit carbon pollution from coal plants, tighten the emissions standard for toxic metals emissions, and reduce pollutants discharged through wastewater. 

One of the rules declares that all new base load natural gas-fired plants will need to “control 90 percent of their carbon pollution.” This rule is particularly important in Florida where 74% of electricity is produced from burning methane-based gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, between 2023 and 2026, Florida is expected to add 1.8 GW of natural gas capacity. 

The fourth rule addresses waste from coal plants, which was unregulated at the federal level until now, including at previously used disposal areas that may leak and contaminate groundwater. This rule is particularly important in Florida, where there are 28 coal ash dump sites, many of which are close to where people live. According to the CLEO Institute’s V.P. of Policy & Partnerships, Susan Glickman, “while waste from burning coal contains some of the deadliest toxic metals: arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and selenium, the new EPA rule will force polluters to address some of the harm they’ve caused over many years. Protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe must be our legacy for future generations.”

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About The CLEO Institute

Founded in 2010, The CLEO Institute is a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s sole women-led nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to climate education, advocacy, and engagement. Our work addresses the urgent challenges posed by devastating hurricanes, increased flooding, and rising temperatures in the state. CLEO focuses on building community resilience through informed, engaged, and prepared public participation. We collaborate with government, business, academic, and community leaders to advocate for long-term, equitable climate solutions. Using a top-down, bottom-up approach, CLEO empowers Floridians to take climate action, fostering resilience in the state most vulnerable to climate impacts. Learn more at www.cleoinstitute.org

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