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Court blocks EPA rules for Oklahoma power plants

Associated Press Modified: June 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm •  Published: June 23, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of an Environmental Protection Agency plan that would reduce pollution from Oklahoma's coal-fired power plants.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted a request by the Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and others for a stay pending a review of the EPA's rule requiring the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions at four electric generating units.

The EPA's plan is designed to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants and industrial sources to improve visibility at federally managed wilderness areas, including the 59,000-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge near Lawton. It would affect plants operated by OG&E at Red Rock and Muskogee and another operated by Public Service Co. of Oklahoma at Oologah.

Those three facilities, built more than 30 years ago, are responsible for more than one-third of the sulfur dioxide pollution emitted by all industrial and utility sources in the state, according to the EPA.

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