Update on U.S. EPA Transport Rule
Posted: January 28th, 2011Author: All4 Staff
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) was required by a Federal court determination to “fix” what the court identified as deficiencies in the Clear Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). On August 2, 2010 this process began with the publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone. Once promulgated, the “Transport Rule” will replace the existing CAIR rule. With the Transport Rule, U.S. EPA is proposing to limit the interstate transport of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Under this proposal U.S. EPA would both identify and limit emissions within 32 states in the Eastern United States that affect the ability of downwind states to attain and maintain compliance with the 1997 and 2006 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and the 1997 ozone NAAQS. U.S. EPA is proposing to limit these emissions through FIPs that would regulate electric generating units (EGUs) in the 32 states. Emissions reductions would begin to take effect very quickly, in 2012, within one (1) year after the rule is finalized.
While the original comment period for the Transport Rule closed on October 1, 2010, U.S. EPA has just supplemented the Transport Rule docket with an additional Notice of Data Availability relevant to the rulemaking. This notice includes a request for comment on the NOX annual and NOX ozone season allowances for existing units calculated using two alternative methodologies and data supporting those calculations. Also noticed are provisions for states to submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) providing for state allocation of allowances in the proposed Transport Rule trading programs. While not yet published, the close of this new comment period will be 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.