November 25, 2015
On November 17, 2015 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is proposing updates to the agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to address interstate air quality impacts for the 2008 ozone air quality standards. The proposed updates would reduce summertime emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from power plants that contribute to downwind ozone problems in the eastern half of the U.S.
The Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision requires states – or, as a backstop, EPA – to address interstate transport of air pollution that affects the ability of downwind states to attain and maintain clean air standards. Under the “good neighbor” provision, states develop state implementation plans (SIPs) while EPA plays a backstop role by issuing federal implementation plans (FIPs) if a state fails to submit an approvable plan. EPA’s November 17th proposal provides the FIP that would apply if EPA’s backstop obligation is triggered. States may choose to have their emissions sources controlled by the FIP rather than developing their own plan.
Specifically, the proposed updates identify cuts in power plant NOx emissions in 23 states in the eastern half of the country that contribute significantly to downwind ozone air quality problems and can be achieved using existing, proven and cost-effective control technologies. The proposed cuts in NOx emissions would lead to significant improvements in air quality for the 2017 ozone season. EPA is also proposing to adopt FIPs for each of the 23 states in the event that a state does not submit an approvable SIP.
The CSAPR, which was finalized in 2011, was designed to help states meet the 1997 ozone standards. Now that the CSAPR approach to define upwind state obligations under the “good neighbor provision” has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, the EPA is applying this approach to the 2008 ozone NAAQS to help states address transported ozone pollution problems under the strengthened standards. This proposal also responds to the July 2015 decision of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and addresses the court’s concerns regarding ozone season NOx emissions budgets for 11 states.
EPA will accept comments for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register and will hold a public hearing on December 17, 2015 in Washington, DC. EPA has issued a fact sheet of the proposed Cross State Air Pollution Update Rule.
What this means to you
EPA will identify cuts required in power plant emissions in 23 eastern states to meet 2008 ozone NAAQS in order to enforce the Good Neighbor provision of the Cross State Air Pollution Plan. EPA will issue a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) in states that fail to submit an approvable State Implementation Plan (SIP).
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn more about NOx control technologies for your engine.