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.