Targeting power plants in 12 states EPA strengthens CASPR to reduce summer smog

April 3, 2021

On March 15th the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is finalizing revisions to its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Update to help areas affected by pollution emitted by power plants in other states meet the 2008 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, commonly referred to as smog.

Starting this summer, power plants in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia will be required to cut smog-forming emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) that contribute to unhealthy air quality in communities downwind by installing, improving or upgrading pollution controls.

“EPA plays a critical role by working with states and the power sector to prevent pollution released in one state from harming the health and air quality of its neighbors,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

EPA estimates that the Revised CSAPR Update will reduce NOxs from power plants in 12 states in the eastern United States by 17,000 tons beginning in 2021 compared to projections without the rule.

Due to this rulemaking and other changes already underway in the power sector, ozone season NOx emissions in these 12 states will be nearly 25,000 tons lower in 2021 than in 2019, a reduction of 19 percent.

Required at power plants in 12 upwind states, the additional emissions reductions are based on both improving the performance or utilization of pollution controls already installed beginning in the 2021 ozone season and installation or upgrade of state-of-the-art NOx combustion controls beginning in the 2022 ozone season.

Projected 2021 emissions from power plants in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia were found to contribute to pollution levels that would harm the ability of downwind states to meet or maintain the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

The rule responds to the September 2019 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Wisconsin v. EPA) by addressing the “significant contribution” of pollution from particular upwind states to downwind states under the authority provided in Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), in order to help downwind states meet and maintain compliance with the 2008 ozone standard.

A fact sheet and more information on the updated CASPR rule Web page explain more.

What this means to you
Starting this summer, power plants in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia will be required to cut NOx emissions that contribute to unhealthy air quality in communities downwind by installing, improving or upgrading pollution controls.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine emission solutions of NOx emissions.