EPA rolls back air rule, Texas gets most leeway

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI | October 6, 2011 | 2:45 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning 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 nine states, including Texas, to emit more sulfur dioxide. 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 now understands it had been provided incorrect information from some utility companies, including Luminant in Texas. He says it's not because of a letter Perry wrote to President Barack Obama or complaints by utility companies that they did not have enough time to comply.

States still will have to comply with the revised rules by Jan. 2012.