EPA Wants Public Input On Controversial Oklahoma Clean Air Plan

Sunday, April 3rd 2011, 11:11 am
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Environmental Protection Agency wants public input on its proposed clean air plan to address Oklahoma regional haze while the Oklahoma attorney general threatens to sue if their plan is implemented.

Haze is caused when sunlight encounters tiny pollution particles in the air, scattering light and reducing the clarity and color of what the human eye can see. The brown or white haze that hangs in the air, particularly during humid periods, also reduces the distance people can see.  

Learn more about regional haze and visibility

The EPA plan is designed to reduce pollution from coal-fired plants and industry to improve visibility at national parks and wilderness areas. One representative of the Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers says implementing the plan will raise Oklahoma gas and electric rates by 16 percent.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says he has told the EPA he will sue the agency if the rules are implemented.

The public meetings will give interested persons a chance to comment – though EPA staff will not respond to questions from the public, according to a news release from the EPA.

Written statements and oral comments received during the comment period will "carry the same weight," according to a news release from the EPA. However, people must provide comments in written form during the public hearing in order to be included in the official record.

The Oklahoma City open houses are from 1 to 3 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Metro Technology Centers, Springlake Campus. The meetings will be held in the Business Conference Center, meetings rooms H and I, at 1900 Springlake Driver in Oklahoma City.

The Tulsa open houses on Oklahoma regional haze will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 14 at the Tulsa Tech Riverside Campus in Jenks. The meetings will be held in the auditorium of the Alliance Conference Center, 801 E. 91st Street.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.