EPA Delays CSAPR Compliance Deadlines

on December 01, 2014 at 10:30 AM


The EPA has issued an interim rule delaying the CSAPR compliance deadlines by three years consistent with the recent court-ordered schedule.

On November 21, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an interim final rule amending the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule’s (CSAPR) compliance deadlines to align with the October 23 ruling – of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Appeals Court) – that granted EPA’s motion to lift the stay of CSAPR and delay its deadlines by three years.  With the amendment, CSAPR’s Phase I emissions budgets apply in 2015 and 2016 (instead of 2012 and 2013) and Phase II emissions budgets and assurance provisions apply in 2017 and beyond (instead of 2014 and beyond).  The EPA will take comments on the rule for 60 days from the date of publication in the federal register.


Map of CSAPR States (EPA)

In December 2011, the Appeals Court ordered a stay of CSAPR – in response to industry and state petitions that challenged CSAPR and sought a stay pending judicial review – and directed EPA to continue administering CAIR on an interim basis; in a subsequent decision on merits in August 2012, the Appeals Court vacated CSAPR.  On April 29, the Supreme Court reversed the decision and remanded the case to the Appeals Court for further proceedings. On October 23, the Appeals Court granted EPA’s motion (based on the Supreme Court decision) to lift the stay of CSAPR and toll its compliance deadlines by three years.The EPA issued CSAPR in July 2011 to address Clean Air Act requirements concerning interstate transport of air pollution and to replace the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) which the Appeals Court remanded to EPA for replacement in 2008.

The CSAPR – subsequently amended by the Supplemental Rule, First Revisions Rule, and Second Revisions Rule – requires 28 states to limit their state-wide sulfur dioxide (SO2) and/or nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions to eliminate unlawful contributions of fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone pollution to downwind states.  It was designed to implement emissions limitations – emissions budgets for concerned states’ large electric generating units (EGUs) – in two phases of increasing stringency.  It establishes federal implementation plans (FIPs) requiring large EGUs to participate in emissions trading programs that supersede existing CAIR programs.  It permits interstate allowance trading with “assurance provisions” designed to ensure that individual states’ emissions in each Phase II compliance period do not exceed the states’ respective emissions budgets by more than specified variability limits.  The CSAPR also allows states to revise state implementation plans (SIPs) to modify or replace FIPs while continuing to rely on its trading programs for compliance and establishes requirements and deadlines for optional SIP revisions.

The EPA’s interim final rule also amends specific deadlines for sources to certify monitoring systems and start reporting emissions; for EPA to allocate and record emission allowances; and for states to take optional steps to modify or replace CSAPR FIPs through SIP revisions.  It also amends dates pertinent to regulatory provisions that sunset CAIR after replacement by CSAPR.  The EPA noted that CSAPR would be implemented as amended by subsequent rulemakings and that dates first established or amended in later rulemakings would be tolled to preserve CSAPR’s internal consistency and facilitate efficient and equitable implementation.  The rule clarifies the timing of requirements and elections under CSAPR for compliance to begin in an orderly manner on January 1, 2015 consistent with the Appeals Court order.

In a separate action, EPA issued a notice of data availability (NODA) aligning the final CSAPR default allowance allocation years with the court order.  The NODA pertains to unit-specific default allowance allocations for EGUs that commenced commercial operation before 2010.  The allocations supersede those announced in 2011, reflect amendments to CSAPR from subsequent rulemakings, and account for the impact of delaying CSAPR compliance deadlines by re-vintaging previously recorded 2012 and 2013 allowances as 2015 and 2016 allowances, respectively.

Originally published by EnerKnol.

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