Entergy Considers Sierra Club Proposal To Meet Rule On Emissions In Wildlife Areas

Feb 24, 2016

A map of the 156 national parks and wilderness areas that need to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's Regional Haze Rule.

Entergy Arkansas says it's studying a proposal by the Sierra Club for how it could comply with federal regulations to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas by reducing plant emissions.

The rule by the Environmental Protection Agency is known as the Regional Haze Rule.

The environmental group is proposing Entergy phase out the use of coal at the White Bluff power plant over the next nine years and at the Independence plant in Newark over the next eleven.

"This is a federal law that just has not been complied with and so the Sierra Club is making sure that it is complied with," says Glenn Hooks with the Sierra Club of Arkansas.

Hooks thinks his group's proposal is a good option because it could benefit both the environment and utilities. He says it would also create clean energy jobs.

"Really the options are installing expensive scrubbers on these plants which would cost more than a billion dollars each and be charged to Arkansas rate payers, switching to natural gas, or shutting down the plants entirely. Or some sort of compromise that's a combination of those three options."

The Sierra Club proposal involves continuing to let the plants operate without scrubbers if a firm shutdown date is set. It also includes replacing half of the lost power with wind and solar energy.