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STATEMENT BY CAROL M. BROWNER, EPA ADMINISTRATOR

02/29/2000
STATEMENT BY CAROL M. BROWNER, EPA ADMINISTRATOR

February 29, 2000


Today we are announcing that a settlement agreement has been reached between the Clinton/Gore Administration and TECO B the Tampa Electric Company. The agreement is the first to take place under EPA's national enforcement action against coal fired-powered plants for violations of the Clean Air Act.

The TECO settlement is a benchmark in the Clinton/Gore Administration's efforts to provide Floridians the greatest possible protection of their public health and their environment.

Today's settlement specifically means significant reductions in the harmful air emissions that cause smog, soot and acid rain.

Today's settlement means that action to reduce air pollution will begin at TECO's two largest facilities by 2001. The company must continue steady reductions on a fixed schedule through 2010.

Today's settlement means that TECO will have to meet tough, truly protective emission standards for the worst pollutants. Hundreds of thousands of tons of harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter will be removed from the skies over Florida. These pollutants cause serious respiratory disorders and even premature death. They also can damage crops and the environment.

Today's settlement means that TECO will also pay $3.5 million in civil penalties and another $10 million for environmentally beneficial projects designed to mitigate the impact of their pollution.

AIn other words, it means that TECO will have to clean up quickly, TECO will have to clean up to levels that are truly protective of public health and the environment, and TECO will have to take action to mitigate the pollution it has already caused, Browner concluded.

We are pleased that the company has signed this settlement. And we hope that other utilities follow their example and bring significantly improved air quality to many other areas across America.