L.A. region’s power plants: Now what?


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Barry Wallerstein, SoCal’s air pollution czar (otherwise known as executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District), said that the district is unlikely to appeal a Superior Court judge’s decision to delay a host of gas-fired power plants.

So will the district comply with the judge’s order to deliver an extensive environmental impact review of the health effects of emitting thousands of tons of new cancer-causing soot into the atmosphere? Wallerstein said the district, which is responsible for the air breathed by 16 million Californians, will figure that out in coming days. ‘It will be a question of whether we proceed with a new rule, or whether we throw up our hands and say someone else should figure this out because it is beyond our control.’


Wallerstein, recalling the electricity crisis, asked, ‘Should we wait until we have brownouts and blackouts to build new power plants?’

Meanwhile, environmentalists, who advocate a stronger push for energy conservation and renewable power, said they would file a new lawsuit in coming weeks, this one in federal court, to nullify what they call ‘bogus’ pollution credits issued by the air district to allow the gas plants to be built.

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-- Margot Roosevelt