North Carolina governor signs coal-related clean air bill

RALEIGH, N.C., June 21, 2002 — Governor Mike Easley has signed a bill designed to clean up emissions from North Carolina’s coal-fired power plants.

The Clean Smokestacks bill will substantially cut the state’s coal- fired power plants emissions of multiple air pollutants that cause smog, haze and other pollution problems. Under the legislation, North Carolina’s 14 coal-fired power plants will reduce their emissions of key pollutants.

Thirty-two eastern North Carolina cities have joint ownership in two coal- fired plants with Progress Energy. The cities will share in the cost of cleaning up the emissions from Roxboro Unit 4 and Mayo Unit 1. The clean up will require a slight rate increase for the cities, which they may have to pass on to their customers.

The 32 cities are members of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) and are represented by the trade association ElectriCities. The organization supports Governor Easley’s initiative and clean air, but they concede there will have to be a slight rate increase to reduce the emissions.

“The costs will have to be passed on to the customers at some point,” said ElectriCities Board of Directors Chairman R.L. Willoughby. “Exactly how much the rate increase will be or when it will go into effect is still undetermined,” he said.

The 32 cities affected are Apex, Ayden, Belhaven, Benson, Clayton, Edenton, Elizabeth City, Farmville, Fremont, Greenville, Hamilton, Hertford, Hobgood, Hookerton, Kinston, La Grange, Laurinburg, Louisburg, Lumberton, New Bern, Pikeville, Red Springs, Robersonville, Rocky Mount, Scotland Neck, Selma, Smithfield, Southport, Tarboro, Wake Forest, Washington, and Wilson.

ElectriCities is a non-profit government service organization representing cities, towns and universities that own electric distribution systems. ElectriCities provides customer service and safety training, emergency and technical assistance, communications, government affairs and legal services.

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