After Federal Changes, Lawmakers Want Stronger State Pollution Law

By  | 

Two Democratic lawmakers want Illinois to strengthen its air-pollution laws to make up for a change in federal policy.

The Bush administration has relaxed a federal rule requiring that anti-pollution devices be added whenever an older, coal-burning power plant is upgraded, so state Sen. Barack Obama and Rep. Elaine Nekritz want Illinois law to require installation of "scrubbers" when plants are overhauled.

They say Illinois must do more to reduce air pollution because it causes thousands of asthma attacks and hundreds of deaths each year.

Obama says the change will help the Illinois coal industry. Illinois coal generally creates more pollution, so it's mainly used in plants that have "scrubber" technology.