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SDG&E requests exemption from air polution laws

San Diego Gas and Electric is asking for an exemption from air pollution laws so the firm's Palomar Energy Plant can release more smog. SDG&E's petition goes before the county's Air Pollution Control District tomorrow. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has more.

SDG&E wants the OK to release more nitrogen oxide when it starts up its plant than the district currently allows. The utility is asking for a variance, which is a limited time exemption from district's rules and permit conditions. District Investigator Heidi Gabriel-Peck:

Gabriel-Peck: When they start up the turbine units, they're having problems complying with the NOX concentration, and pounds per hour standards, by two hours after they start, and the two hours is required by our rule.

SDG&E wants to extend that to six hours. The exemption would allow the power plant to emit more Nitrogen Oxide for one year. Nitrogen Oxide emissions produce ozone, which is also known as smog. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS News.

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