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Commerce : Hearing on Trash-Burning Plant Emissions Continued

A hearing this week on whether the Commerce refuse-to-energy plant should be required to more quickly meet emissions standards was continued to July 28 by the Hearing Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The AQMD has challenged the legality of a variance, which was granted to the plant last April by the AQMD Hearing Board, an independent quasi-judicial body. The variance gives the plant until Nov. 1 to meet emissions standards, but an extension hearing has already been scheduled for Oct. 25.

The AQMD maintains that the Hearing Board improperly found that the plant met specific legal requirements to receive a variance. Hearing Board Chairman B.C. Escobar has declined to comment on the matter.

Robert R. Pease, AQMD senior air quality engineering manager, said the variance will allow the plant too much time to come into compliance with district emissions regulations. But Pease has not presented a precise timetable to bring the plant into compliance if the variance is rescinded.

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