The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing updates the existing Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). The goal of the updates is to reduce summertime emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from powerplants that contribute to downwind ozone issues in other states.
As part of the Clean Air Act, states are required to develop state implementation plans (SIPs) that address interstate transport of air pollution that affects the ability of downwind states to meet clean air standards. In lieu of developing their own plans, states can default to the federal implementation plan (FIP). The updates to CSAPR provide the FIP that would apply if a SIP is not developed.
The FIP includes cuts in power plant NOx emissions in 23 states in the eastern half of the country. According to the EPA, the emission cuts can be achieved with existing, cost-effective control technologies.
“This update will help protect the health and lives of millions of Americans by reducing exposure to ozone pollution, which is linked to serious public health effects including reduced lung function, asthma, emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and early death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The proposed updates support states’ obligation to address air pollution that is carried across state lines”.
EPA estimates that these updates will reduce NOx emissions from power plants in the East by 85,000 tons in 2017. More information on these updates can be found here.