Report: EPA will give some states, companies more time on cross-state rule

The Environmental Protection Agency will give some states and power plant operators more time to comply with the Cross State Air Pollution Rule set to begin on January 1, according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, the EPA will propose allowing certain states and companies to emit more pollutants than previously permitted — from 1 percent to 4 percent above the levels set when the rule was finalized in July.

The WSJ story cites unnamed sources, but the idea sounds similar to what EPA officials said in a letter in early September to Texas-based power plant operator Luminant, which said it would need to shut down two coal-fired power units to comply with the new rules. EPA offcials repeated the willingness to compromise during Congressional hearings.

The EPA and some analysts said Luminant was exaggerating and didn’t really need to shut down the plants to comply.

Luminant and the State of Texas are suing the EPA over the rule.

The EPA rule, issued in July, say 27 states must reduce power-plant emissions of sulfur dioxide, which forms the tiny particles known as soot, and nitrogen oxides, a component of ground-level ozone.

The initial plan only required Texas to cut nitrogen oxide emissions during the smog season, but in July the final rules included sulfur dioxide cuts for Texas as well.

4 Comments

  1. Rhonda

    The EPA needs to go away!!!!

    #1
  2. txloanguy

    The EPA should go to Mexico and stop their pollution first. Or construct walls to stop pollution going over state borders. Good Luck to those idiots.

    #2
  3. A guy

    1-4% increase from a 47% decrease? So they still have to reduce their emissions by half with less than a year’s notice.

    There are three ways to cut your emissions in half:
    Shut down the power plant
    Switch Coal Types (and shut down the mines)
    Install Exhaust Scrubbers

    You can’t install scrubbers by January. It takes years to design, plan, budget, approve, and build industrial projects on this scale. That is ignoring the fact that installation would have to be staggered to keep the lights on.

    Therefore Luminant is switching coal types on two plants and shutting down three more.

    If the EPA has some magic fourth option, I’d love to hear it. However, my suspiscion is that they somehow think that you can build a multi-million dollar scrubber in a week when it isn’t even on your budget for the year.

    Finally, they cannot get out of the fact that they illegally implemented this rule without proper comment period or due dilligence. The need for this comment period is evidenced by the fact that the only way to comply with their demands is to endanger public safety by destabilizing the power grid.

    #3
  4. David Gower

    The fee to get more time is a big donation to the Obama re-election fund.

    #4