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Retired Wildlife Biologist Says Changes To Power Plant Emissions Are Necessary

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed changes to power plant emissions are hugely controversial, but also hugely needed, according to a retired wildlife biologist.

Ed Perry of the National Wildlife Federation has spent seven years looking at the effects of climate change in Pennsylvania. He sees them in mass fish kills in the Susquehanna River and the high incidence of Lyme disease from warmer winters and more ticks. They also threaten Pennsylvania emblems.

"The Hemlock, our state tree, is forecast to be gone from Pennsylvania and as our state tree goes our state fish, the brook trout, is also at high risk. At one time, the brook trout was actually called hemlock trout. That's how closely associated they were with hemlocks."

The mining and power industries generally oppose the rules changes as too expensive, but Perry points to the rehabilitation of a western Pennsylvania coal-burning plant in Homer City where its owners say improvements won't provoke a price hike after all.

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