More power plants would sully air |

More power plants would sully air

Allen Best

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. – The crystalline air of the Southwest is getting more opaque, and it could worsen further.Already, there are 18 coal-fired power plants on or near the Colorado Plateau, as well as giant plumes of exhaust from automobiles blown in from Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Government regulations estimate proposals for another 30 power plants. Environmental activists say that even better – and more expensive – technology is needed to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air, reports The Denver Post.Air quality specialist Carl Bowman says that on the clearest days at the Grand Canyon, about 10 percent of the time, the visibility is still very good. But 10 percent of the time the canyon is lost in the haze to viewers from the rim.Steamboat debates one airport or twoSTEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The debate is sharpening in Steamboat Springs about whether to continue operations at the close-in and smaller municipal airport or put all of the community’s eggs into the outlying county-operated airport.Large airplanes from Minneapolis, Seattle and other major cities all land at the larger airport, located 25 miles west of Steamboat. The small airport on the edge of the city is used mostly for general aviation.To close the smaller airport, say those who want it to remain open, will cost a lot, because the city would have to repay the Federal Aviation Administration, plus other costs. Moreover, they say the airport brings in revenues to the city that, presumably, would be completely lost if traffic was shunted to the larger airport.For those who want the airport closed, it’s a question of finances, reports The Steamboat Pilot. “From a common-sense standpoint, dispersing the minimal funds we have over so many ways, is it really the best use of our tax dollars?” asked Susan Dellinger, a Steamboat councilwoman. The issue is more than just money, says Marty Kolonel, chairman of the airport commission. He suggests that consolidating planes at the larger airport invites a greater potential for collisions.

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