Monday, June 18, 2012

EPA Publishes Final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Transport Rule

On June 12, EPA announced the final set of minor adjustments to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), better known as the "Transport Rule." The Agency says the changes will provide important and consistent technical adjustments to the CSAPR programs in certain states. No changes were made to the core elements of the program.

The changes were originally issued as a direct final rule in the February 21, 2012, Federal Register, but were withdrawn because EPA received adverse comments during the public comment period. The Agency says the new final rule includes the same set of revisions; it also addresses the comments received.

The final rule revises state budgets for Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. In addition, the rule revises unit set-asides for Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.

CSAPR is a market-based program that is designed to reduce the amount of pollutants that drift from upwind states into downwind states. According to EPA, the total budget increase from the new rule is small (< 1%) when compared to the millions of tons of pollution reductions secured by CSAPR. On December 30, 2011, the U.S. District Court of Appeals stayed CSAPR pending judicial review. Currently CSAPR's predecessor, the Clean Air Interstate Rule, is in effect. The Agency anticipates a ruling from the court on CSAPR sometime this summer. EPA finalized the new adjustments and corrections so that it can be “prepared to implement CSAPR if the stay is lifted. Finalizing the rule does not impose any requirements on regulated units or states.

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