The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Clean Air Transport Rule last week which will have a dramatic affect on Kentucky’s electric utility companies and Kentuckian’s electric bills. The regulations will require 900 coal-fired power plants in 31 states to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that move from one state to another. The proposed rule, in conjunction with other regulations proposed by EPA, is expected to reduce SO2 emissions by 71 percent and NOx emissions by 52 percent. The EPA claims that by the year 2014, we would have reduced pollution from these two emisisons to their lowest rate since the year 2005. Some of these plants, many of which are nearly 60 years old, will be unable to meet these strict guidelines and may be forced to close. It will also mean a significant cost increase to rate payers due to electric companies having to retrofit existing plants to comply with the mandates. The transport rule was fast tracked by the EPA in recent months and will take effect on January 1, 2012. To view the Kentucky Chamber’s comments on the Clean Air Transport Rule click here.