Rules finalized on 2012 air toxics directive

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH — A state regulatory panel has signed off on the details of a legislative directive to exempt industrial plants from certain North Carolina pollution rules if they already comply with similar federal restrictions.

The Environmental Management Commission approved Thursday changes to regulate hazardous chemicals covered by both the state Air Toxics Program and a similar federal program. The General Assembly approved the changes in 2012. Then-Gov. Beverly Perdue signed the bill into law.

Most manufacturing facilities are exempt from the state air toxics rules unless the state air quality director determines plant emissions pose unacceptable health risks. Industry groups said the changes would reduce the cost of doing business and make the state more attractive to companies wishing to expand.

The rules were approved following several public meetings.