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Cuomo seeks tighter air quality limits for power plants

ALBANY

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed tighter limits on emissions from power plants to align with federal air quality standards aimed at combating climate change.

The proposed restrictions on certain natural-gas-fired power facilities and diesel generators would reduce nitrogen oxides and tiny particles in emissions called particulate matter as required by the federal government, Cuomo said. These emissions contribute to creating smog.

The emissions can cause asthma, shortness of breath, coughing and nasal irritation, but lower limits should ease that problem, Cuomo said.

The new regulations would apply to power plants including those that provide short-term power to New York City during peak demand. But Cuomo said the standards wouldn’t have to be met if used exclusively for blackouts or other significant disruption of the power grid serving the state.

He said the proposed restrictions won’t threaten the reliability of power.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comment on the proposal through Feb. 18.

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