AEP Decides to not Testify at EPA Hearing, Cites EPA Disregard for Alternative Plans from Certain States to Reduce NOx Emissions

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 28, 1998 -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) chose not to provide oral testimony addressing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency´s (EPA) proposed federal implementation plan (FIP) and Section 126 actions at the hearing today in Washington, D.C. AEP will submit a written statement to the EPA before the comment period ends November 30.

The two proposals will activate federally mandated, stringent reductions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in a number of states, should the states not submit approvable NOx reduction state implementation plans (SIPs) to EPA by September 1999. The reductions mandated -- up to 85 percent -- are intended to reduce ozone levels.

"In previous hearings on this subject, input from AEP, the industry and several states has been disregarded by EPA," said Mark Gray, manager of environmental services for AEP. "Therefore, we´ve decided to focus our resources to support the states we serve and not participate in today´s exercise in futility."

AEP opposes EPA´s proposed FIP and Section 126 rulemaking. AEP had previously termed EPA´s NOx SIP call issued in September as unnecessary and technically unsound.

"This whole process began because Northeast states failed to control emissions from vehicles and from other contributors to ozone formation. The Northeast could not meet the one-hour ozone air quality standards, and blamed NOx emission sources in the Midwest," Gray said. "The rulemaking is not supported by the extensive air quality modeling done on this issue. Modeling shows that NOx transport over long distances, such as from the Midwest to the Northeast, contributes minimally to ozone conditions. Controls on local emissions improve local air quality. More draconian control on Midwest and Southeast sources will not improve air quality in faraway Northeast areas.

"It´s obvious that EPA´s actions are driven by politics and perception, and not by sound science available to the agency. We are ready to control AEP´s NOx emissions to the point that achieves local air quality standards, and we do support NOx control proposals made by the states of the Midwest Governor´s Coalition. However, the one-size-fits-all measures proposed by EPA in its original rulemaking on the NOx SIP call are not necessary or justified. EPA´s support of the FIP and Section 126 proposals under discussion today is a heavy-handed way to threaten states that have proposed science-based plans to reduce emissions. In essence, EPA is signaling the states to throw away their alternate proposals."

AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States’ largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.

For More Information, Contact:
Deb Strohmaier
Senior Media Representative
American Electric Power

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