September 28, 2016
In a move to reduce nitrogen (NOx) emissions from power plants that contribute to ozone pollution in the eastern US, the EPA on September 7, 2016, finalized updates to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, according to a September 9, 2016 report from The Environmental Leader.
The rule, which aims to protect downwind states from pollution emitted outside their borders, will help states comply with a 2008 smog standard that limits ozone pollution to 75 parts per billion, the agency says.
Beginning in May 2017, the new rule will affect 2,875 electric generating units at 886 coal, gas and oil power plants in 22 states. The agency says these power plants can achieve the required NOx emissions reductions using existing, cost-effective technology.
This rule and other power-sector regulations are expected to cut summertime NOx emissions by 80,000 tons — a 20 percent reduction from 2015 levels, the EPA says. It estimates the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) will provide annual benefits of up to $880 million in 2017 while costing the industry $68 million to comply with the rule.
CSAPR’s good neighbor provision requires states — or, as a backstop, the EPA — to address air pollution that crosses states’ borders and affects the ability of downwind states to attain clean air standards. Under this provision, states develop state implementation plans (SIPs) while the EPA plays a backstop role by issuing federal implementation plans if a state fails to submit an approvable plan.
The US Supreme Court upheld the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in 2014. At the time, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity called the ruling “dangerous and costly.”
Environmental groups had hoped the final rule would reflect a more stringent 70 ppb ozone benchmark set by a different EPA smog rule issued last October.
A legal challenge to the rule is likely. Republican-controlled states and fossil fuel interests have challenged all of the Obama administration’s major air pollution regulations including the Clean Power Plan.
What this means to you
EPA has finalized its Cross States Air Pollution Rule In a move to reduce nitrogen (NOx) emissions from power plants that contribute to ozone pollution in the eastern US.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRTECH to learn more about emission solutions for your stationary engines.