EPA rolls back air rule, Texas gets most leeway

October 6, 2011 - 3:45 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to ease new pollution rules that angered several states and infuriated GOP presidential contender Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The proposed fix to the cross-state pollution rule published Thursday will allow 10 states, including Texas, to emit more sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz says most of the additional pollution will come from Texas.

Armendariz says the change is being made because the EPA understands it had incorrect data about some utilities, including Luminant in Texas. He says it is not political.

Luminant says the EPA used the wrong data when calculating the standards. It is checking whether the new proposal will allow it to roll back on plans to idle two units and lay off hundreds of employees.