Gov Rauner proposes rolling back coal regulations

Gov. Bruce Rauner is seeking to overhaul regulations on the last of the state’s coal-fired power plants.

The proposed amendments to the state rules would remove limits on the rate of pollution from eight coal plants in central and southern Illinois. The change would instead impose annual caps on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen emitted by the plants owned by Dynegy Inc.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Alec Messina says the proposed changes aim to help a struggling coal industry and give the Houston-based Dynegy more flexibility.

But critics argue the changes will lead to dirtier air. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office says the proposed pollution caps are set so high the state would be encouraging Dynegy to pollute more.