The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Nova Scotia, Ottawa finalize agreement on greenhouse gas emissions

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HALIFAX - The federal government has finalized an agreement with Nova Scotia on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Environment Canada and the provincial Environment Department began working on an equivalency agreement in 2012 and it was signed a month ago by the province, but notice was published Friday in the Canada Gazette that it had been finalized.

The deal is intended to do away with duplicate regulations on greenhouse gases by exempting the province from federal rules on emissions.

Jason Hollett of the provincial Environment Department says the agreement gives industry one set of regulations to work with, but ultimately provides the same targets for the reduction of emissions.

For example, he says that under the federal system a coal-fired plant may have to shut down at a significant cost to taxpayers, while under the provincial rules the plant could continue operating while greenhouse gas emissions would have to reduced at another energy provider.

The department says that without the equivalency agreement, the province's coal-fired units would have to close prematurely at a cost of up to $1.3 billion to ratepayers.

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