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Action is pending following hearing of the Washington state legislature's House Environment Committee, which is considering a Senate-passed measure (SB 5769) calling for the phased closure of the state's only coal-fired electric generation plant and the construction of a natural gas-fired plant on adjacent property at the Centralia coal facility (see Daily GPI, March 9). A committee staff member told NGI Friday that there is no established date for when the committee will vote on the measure, which is the outgrowth of an agreement earlier this year among Centralia plant operator/owner TransAlta, environmental groups and the state. The legislation is conditioned upon certain state and federal regulatory actions, including getting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to exempt the coal-fired plant from looming greenhouse gas emissions restrictions, that would save TransAlta some $600 million on emission-control equipment while it still sold power to utilities in the region.

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