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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Proposed federal regulations to curb toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants won't cripple the region's electricity grid, according to a new report from the firm that manages that system.
PJM Interconnection analysts concluded that their grid still would have ample power to supply customers, even after the expected retirement of aging coal plants that can't meet the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules.
"Resource adequacy does not appear to be threatened," the PJM report said, especially after considering new natural gas plants expected to come on line.
Industry groups, business leaders and some utilities have cautioned that the EPA proposes to implement a series of new air pollution rules too quickly.
Among those EPA proposals was one issued in June to, for the first time, regulate hazardous air pollutant emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Soon after the EPA proposal was issued, American Electric Power said it planned to close three aging facilities in the state by the end of 2014. However, the power company already had planned to close those facilities -- the Kanawha River Plant in Glasgow, the Phillip Sporn Plant in New Haven and the Kammer Plant near Moundsville -- sometime between 2017 and 2020.