Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Transport Rule Proposed To Replace CAIR

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing regulations targeting power plant emissions that drift across the borders of 31 eastern states and the District of Columbia, commonly referred to as the Transport Rule.

The Transport Rule would reduce power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) to meet state-by-state emission reductions. By 2014, the rule and other state and EPA actions would reduce SO2 emissions by 71 percent over 2005 levels. NOx emissions would drop by 52 percent.

EPA is using the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act to reduce interstate transport, which is the upwind state emissions that contribute to air quality problems in downwind states. The proposed rule sets in place a new approach that can be applied again as further pollution reductions are needed to help areas meet air quality health standards. EPA expects that the emission reductions will be accomplished by proven and readily available pollution control technologies already in place at many power plants across the country.

The proposal would replace the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered EPA to revise in 2008. The court allowed CAIR to remain in place temporarily while EPA worked to finalize the replacement rule.

EPA will take public comment on the proposal for 60 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register. The agency also will hold public hearings.

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