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EPA Proposes GHG Emission Limit (4/17/12)

Undoubtedly a prodigious occurrence – EPA’s controversial proposed new source performance standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for electric generating units was published in the Federal Register on Friday, April 13th. The proposed rule would establish a CO2 emission limit of 1,000 lb/MWh based on a rolling 12-month average. Typically, NSPS applies to sources that commence construction after the date the rule is proposed. However, in ensuring that the proposed rule contained something to offend everyone, EPA conjured up a new twist to the “applicability date” of the proposed NSPS. In a move that surely has the environmental groups beside themselves, EPA has exempted from NSPS requirements a newly defined group of sources – “transitional sources.” According to the proposed rule, a “transitional source” is (1) an electric utility generating unit that (2) has received a complete permit that meets the requirements of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program and (3) commences construction prior to April 13, 2013. On the other hand, the electric utility industry is absolutely apoplectic over EPA’s combining of fossil-fuel-fired steam generating (Subpart Da) units with stationary combustion turbines (Subpart KKKK unit). Of course, this is the only pretense the Agency can offer with respect to the proposed CO2 limit being “adequately demonstrated.” It’s a shame that all parties will have to wait a year or so until EPA finalizes the rule before litigation can begin!

A copy of the proposed rulemaking as published in the Federal Register can be found in our FTP library.

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Last Revised: February 16, 2016