Winds of Change Related to Interstate Emissions Trading Rule? Maybe…
Posted: November 29th, 2012Author: All4 Staff
The vacatur of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) in August 2012 has complicated the transport rules that affected multiple states. With CSAPR now out of the picture, U.S. EPA was required to continue administration of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and raised the specter of how states and their upwind and downwind neighbors manage ambient air quality on a state and region-wide basis. Now, an October 2012 court order requiring U.S. EPA to formally find that 40 states have failed to submit air quality plans outlining how they will attain the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) might be the first step toward the creation of a new interstate emissions trading rule. U.S. EPA now has until January 4, 2013 to issue the findings of the failure of the states to submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for meeting the ozone NAAQS. After such a finding, if a state does not submit a SIP that is subsequently approved by U.S. EPA, U.S. EPA has to issue a federal implementation plan (FIP) within two (2) years.
What happens next? Appeals by concerned entities are almost guaranteed. The issuance of FIPs could create tension between U.S. EPA and the affected states. Environmental groups are pushing for more stringent NAAQS, which only would further exacerbate the issue. Also, now that the Presidential election is over, we may see the current logjam of regulatory proposals ease and actually get a feel for how the results might impact future rulings. Whatever happens, ALL4 will be here to keep you up to date.