EPA Targets Hawaii Refineries In Plan To Eliminate Haze
Hawaii has some hazy days.
Not in the L.A. sense of a smoggy bubble constantly looming overhead. It's more an occasional thing. Every so often something in the sky smears the sun as it drifts over the state's green-velvet mountains.
Many residents describe these allergy-infuriating days as voggy, due to the primary cause being a Big Island volcano spewing sulphuric steam. There are good days and bad, depending on wind and weather patterns.
Health concerns aside, the federal government says it has to do something about this unsightly situation since the state failed to remedy it. Putting a lid on one of the world's most active volcanoes is out of the question, so the Environmental Protection Agency is focusing on the man-made causes.
The agency has proposed a Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan for Hawaii that could force certain oil refineries to burn cleaner fuel with the aim of improving visibility at nearby national parks.
This may cost power plants on the Big Island millions of dollars extra each year. But EPA officials say the electric company could meet the proposed requirements just by staying on track with its move toward more renewable fuel sources as directed by the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.