Bush's Clean Air Rules Criticized & Applauded

Rules said to not undercut prosecution of cases against major power plants.

Published: 17-Jul-2002

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration's plan to ease clean air rules is undermining enforcement cases against older coal-fired power plants, some senators and state officials contended Tuesday. Federal officials denied the charge.

``There is a growing feeling, based on fact, that the administration has sent a very clear signal that polluters can do so with impunity,'' Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said at a joint hearing of his committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, testified that the Environmental Protection Agency's recent proposal to relax enforcement rules under a Clean Air Act program has affected his ability to negotiate settlements in cases against two major plants in his state.

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