Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Comment Deadline: Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on its proposal to delist coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units (EGUs) from the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 112(c) and rescind (or to rescind without delisting) the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Coal- and Oil-Fired EGUs, commonly known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

After considering the cost of compliance relative to the HAP benefits of regulation, the EPA proposes to find that it is not “appropriate and necessary” to regulate hazardous air pollution (HAP) emissions from coal- and oil-fired EGUs, thereby reversing the EPA's prior conclusion under CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) and correcting flaws in the EPA's prior response to Michigan v. EPAThe EPA further proposes that finalizing this new response to Michigan v. EPA will not remove the Coal- and Oil-Fired EGU source category from the CAA section 112(c) list of sources that must be regulated under CAA section 112(d) and will not affect the existing CAA section 112(d) emissions standards that regulate HAP emissions from coal- and oil-fired EGUs. 

The EPA is also proposing the results of the residual risk and technology review (RTR) of the NESHAP that the EPA is required to conduct in accordance with CAA section 112. The results of the residual risk analysis indicate that residual risks due to emissions of air toxics from this source category are acceptable and that the current standards provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health. No new developments in HAP emission controls to achieve further cost-effective emissions reductions were identified under the technology review. Therefore, based on the results of these analyses and reviews, the EPA is proposing that no revisions to MATS are warranted. Finally, the EPA is also taking comment on establishing a subcategory for emissions of acid gas HAP from existing EGUs firing eastern bituminous coal refuse.

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov, or by email, fax, or mail. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

EPA Comment Deadline: New Source Performance Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Electric Generating Units

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is welcoming public comment on a proposal to revise the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed fossil fuel-fired power plants. 

In December 2018, after analysis and review, the EPA proposed to determine that the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for newly constructed coal-fired units, is the most efficient demonstrated steam cycle in combination with the best operating practices. As a result the EPA proposed to revise the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed fossil fuel-fired power plants. 

Members of the public may submit comments by mail, fax or at Regulations.gov. More information is available at the EPA's website

Eleven researchers publish sharp critique of EPA fuel economy logic

Ars Technica – Eleven researchers from prominent universities around the US criticized the federal government's justification for rolling back vehicle fuel economy standards, writing that the economic assumptions made in the government's 2018 report resulted in a "flawed" analysis that will likely result in more traffic fatalities, more congestion, and more greenhouse gases emitted.