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Va bills tie utility regs, health impacts

Monday - 1/30/2012, 1:32pm  ET

The public health risks of producing electricity

WTOP's Hank Silverberg reports from Richmond


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two Democratic state legislators are sponsoring legislation that would require Virginia regulators to weigh the public health impacts of new or modified electricity-generating power plants.

Sen. Donald McEachin of Henrico County and Del. David Englin of Alexandria outlined their proposals Monday at a news conference in Richmond.

McEachin said pollution from the state's electric utilities result in illnesses and premature death.

Proponents cited a study by the Clean Air Task Force that links 647 premature deaths annually to fine particulate pollution from Virginia power plants.

McEachin and Engliln said the State Corporation Commission does not consider public health impacts when it reviews permit applications for new or modified power plants.

Englin said that is "unacceptable."

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