Who’s That Breathin’ That Nastri Air? Nastri Boys!
Ever since President Bush took office, the war against air pollution hasn’t been going well — but environmentalists do win the occasional battle. Case in point: The U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest region chief, Wayne Hector Nastri, recently succeeded in convincing one of the biggest polluters in the Southwest to clean up its act. Tucson Electric Power Co. hoped to double production at its notoriously dirty coal-fired power plant in Springerville, Ariz., while keeping emissions levels the same (about 29,000 tons of sulfur and nitrogen oxides annually). Environmentalists and local regulators agreed that if the company wanted to expand the plant, it should install state-of-the-art emissions-control technology — but in Washington, D.C., Jeffrey Holmstead, the Bush appointee who runs U.S. EPA air programs, urged Nastri to okay the expansion without mandating pollution controls. Nastri declined, and worked out a compromise whereby Tucson Electric will double its electricity output while reducing its emissions significantly over the next five years.