Environmental Regulation

EPA to Revamp Cross-State Air Rule

By Cathy Cash | ECT Staff Writer Published: August 7th, 2013

A new rule to reduce airborne emissions that cross state lines is in the works at the Environmental Protection Agency.

A new rule to reduce ozone emissions that cross state lines is in the works at the Environmental Protection Agency. (Photo By: Getty Images)

A new rule to reduce ozone emissions that cross state lines is in the works at the Environmental Protection Agency. (Photo By: Getty Images)

That is despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s plans to reconsider the legality of the agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, known as CSAPR.

In a July 30 conference call, Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, told energy industry stakeholders that the agency is reworking the rule even as the court reviews it.

Release of the revised rule will coincide with the agency’s proposal to control carbon dioxide emissions from coal generation next year.

President Obama has directed EPA to draft greenhouse gas standards for the nation’s existing coal fleet by June 2014 and finalize them by June 2015.

The new rule also will consider emission reductions achieved under other current and pending EPA regulations that contribute to reducing ozone levels, according to McCabe. It affects about 27 states, mostly east of the Mississippi River.

Emissions allowance trading is expected to be a part of state compliance plans to meet the new regulations, but McCabe said EPA does not want to “constrain states’ ability to be flexible” in developing cost-effective compliance plans.

NRECA and several electric cooperatives filed suit against the emissions rule, contesting its legality and noting it treated different parts of the country in an arbitrary and unfair manner.  A federal appeals court threw out the rule, but the agency appealed to the Supreme Court and in June the justices agreed to rehear the case.

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