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EPA Issues Proposed EGU MACT and NSPS Revisions (3/16/11)

On March 16, EPA issued the proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) from Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (“EGU MACT”) and proposed revisions to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (NSPS Subpart Da), Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Steam Generating Units (NSPS Subpart Db), and Small Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Steam Generating Units (NSPS Subpart Dc).

The proposed EGU MACT Rule is considered the replacement for the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR), which was vacated by the D.C Circuit Court in 2008 on the basis that EPA violated the Clean Air Act by removing EGUs from the list of units required to be regulated under Section 112 of the Act (e.g. NESHAP). CAMR, which was regulated under the NSPS and applied only to mercury emissions, provided for an allowance-based system similar to the one used in the Acid Raid Program. However, the proposed EGU MACT, which is regulated under the NESHAP, applies to all hazardous air pollutants (or surrogates thereof), including mercury. Unlike CAMR, EGU MACT sets emissions standards for the various HAPs (or surrogates) based on the application of “Maximum Achievable Control Technology” (MACT) with no option for allowance trading. EPA was subject to a Consent Decree to issue the proposed rulemaking by March 16, 2011 and a final rule by November 16, 2011.

In conjunction with the proposed EGU MACT rulemaking, EPA is also proposing revisions to the NSPS for EGUs (Subpart Da) including new emissions standards for SO2, NOx, and PM. These revisions are the result of the voluntary remand of the 2006 amendments. EPA indicated that the timing of the NSPS amendments was designed to allow electric utilities to consider both rules simultaneously in evaluating compliance strategies. EPA also modified other parts of the NSPS (Subparts Da, Db, and Dc), including deleting vacated provisions and harmonizing certain monitoring, testing and recordkeeping requirements.

EPA will take public comment on this rulemaking for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA will also hold public hearings on these proposed rules in Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, and Philadelphia, PA. Further details on these hearings will be provided by EPA in the near future. Copies of the proposed rulemaking can be found in our FTP library.

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Last Revised: February 22, 2013