Duke students submit public comment on EPA notice of proposed rulemaking regarding changes to the MATS rule

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Duke SciPol.org — Students in the Duke University Science Regulation (SciReg) Lab submitted a public comment today in response to a Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice of proposed rulemaking (noticed at 84 FR 2670) to revise the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. In the comment, Fernanda Catão de Carvalho, Sam Karson, Jenny Wang, and Cole Wilhelmi argue that EPA must conduct a new cost-benefit analysis as part of this regulatory process, and that the EPA must consider co-benefits in performing such an analysis.

Members of the public may download a copy of their comment. The Executive Summary of the comment is excerpted below:

The Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") released a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units - Reconsideration of Supplemental Finding and Residual Risk and Technology Review on February 7, 2019. With the proposed rule, EPA is revising its response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Michigan v. EPA in which the Court ruled that the EPA erred when it did not take cost into account in finding that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate hazardous air pollutant ("HAP") emissions from coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units ("EGUs") under section 112 of the Clean Air Act. The EPA now proposes to find that it is not appropriate and necessary to regulate HAP emissions based on a Risk Impact Analysis ("RIA") that was conducted in 2011. Additionally, the agency is changing its interpretation of the cost-benefit analysis to ignore co-benefits.

This Comment explains that the EPA must conduct a new cost-benefit analysis to take into account developments in the energy industry and health sciences before determining whether it is appropriate and necessary to regulate HAP. This Comment also explains that it is illogical to ignore co-benefits given the current state of pollution control technology.

Recommended Citation: de Carvalho, Fernanda Catão, Sam Karson, Jenny Wang, and Cole Wilhelmi. 17 April 2019. "Comment on EPA Proposed Rule: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units- Reconsideration of Supplemental Finding and Residual Risk and Technology Review." Durham: Duke University. https://scipol.org/news/duke-students-submit-public-comment-epa-notice-proposed-rulemaking-regarding-changes-mats-rule.