EPA Issues New Rules on Air Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released proposed rules last week that place stringent emissions limits for all coal-fired and oil-fired electric steam generating units. 

The proposed rule package, released March 16, 2011, requires certain add-on pollution controls to meet emission limits. The proposed package also contains EPA’s first national standard to reduce mercury emissions, as well as other air toxics, from coal and oil-fired power plants. 

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate emissions of toxic air pollutants from a published list of industrial sources referred to as “source categories.” Under the Act, EPA has developed a list of source categories that must meet control technology requirements for these toxic air pollutants. The EPA is required to develop regulations (also known as rules or standards) for all industries that emit one or more of the pollutants in significant quantities. 

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2011 and comments are due 60 days after publication.  A final rule is required by November 16, 2011. For more information, please contact Steve O’Day ( or Phillip Hoover (

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