Air Pollution and Power Plant Siting in California

by R. A. Papetti, Stephen H. Dole, Morlie Hammer Graubard

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Information on the contribution of fossil-fuel-burning power plants to air pollution, a summary of relevant state and federal legislation and control activities, and suggestions relating this information to the possible powers and duties of a California Power Plant Siting Authority (PPSA). Emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter by these plants represent a significant contribution to air pollution in the state. As other sources become more strictly controlled, the proportion of contaminants emitted by power plants is expected to increase. Legislation was first enacted in California in 1947 and by the Federal Government in 1955. Power plants are regulated through emission and land-use controls set and monitored by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state Air Resources Board, and the local Air Pollution Control Districts. Whatever its ultimate duties and organizational form, it is suggested that the proposed PPSA not preempt or duplicate any of the control activities of these existing agencies.

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