Read the full story from the Center for Public Integrity.
Nearly a quarter of the nation’s coal-fired power plants in 2017 lacked pollution controls limiting emissions of lung-damaging sulfur dioxide even though some of their counterparts have been using the controls for almost 40 years.
Federal data show this disparity. It leaves communities like Labadie, Missouri, exposed to stubbornly high levels of the pollutant even as emissions nationwide have plummeted. Some power-plant operators have exploited a 1977 congressional loophole to avoid installing the controls, environmentalists say. Now, as the public focuses on multiple investigations into U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s spending habits and personnel choices, Pruitt is moving swiftly to grant one of industry’s major policy wishes: He’s making it easier for plant operators to sidestep equipment upgrades in the future.