EPA Announces Clean Air Interstate Rule

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EPA Announces Clean Air Interstate Rule

[edit] Abstract:

This article finalizes the idea of CAIR, the Clean Air Interstate Rule. This rule deals with the emission of sulfer dioxide and nitrogen oxides. It is enfored by the EPA, and therefore only required in the United Stated. There are also different levels for different states. It is especially important for the eastern states to respect this law due to the larger mortality rates. In addition to setting limits on emitted sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, coal-fired power plants now need to control mercury emissions. If these laws are followed, the air will be much cleaner than what we are living in now.

[edit] Article:

EPA Announces Clean Air Interstate Rule March 10, 2005 -- EPA has issued the final Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which will permanently cap emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the eastern United States. When fully implemented, CAIR will reduce SO2 emissions in 28 eastern states and the District of Columbia by over 70 percent and NOx emissions by over 60 percent from 2003 levels. EPA states that CAIR will result in more than $100 billion in health and visibility benefits per year by 2015 and will substantially reduce premature mortality in the eastern United States, and these benefits will continue to grow each year with further implementation. CAIR is an important component of the Bush Administration's plan to help states in the eastern United States meet the national health-based air quality standards. These pollution reductions, along with other federal air quality programs, will allow the vast majority of nonattainment areas in the eastern United States to meet the new air quality standards. EPA is also scheduled to issue the first-ever requirement for coal-fired power plants to control mercury emissions in March 2005. That action, plus today's CAIR rule, puts multi-pollutant controls in place for many of the largest sources of air pollution in the country. CAIR will mandate the largest reduction in air pollution since the reductions set by the Acid Rain Program under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Under CAIR, states will achieve the required emissions reductions using one of two options for compliance: 1) require power plants to participate in an EPA-administered interstate cap and trade system that caps emissions in two stages, or 2) meet an individual state air emission limits through measures of the state's choosing. By addressing air pollutants in a cost effective fashion, EPA and the states will protect public health and the environment without interfering with the steady flow of affordable energy for American consumers and businesses. For more information, go to: [1] .

Fact Sheet CLEAN AIR INTERSTATE RULE (CAIR) Through the use of the proven cap and trade approach, CAIR achieves substantial reductions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and is a powerful component of the Administrations plan to help over 450 counties in the eastern U.S. meet EPA’s protective air quality standards for ozone or fine particles. SO2 and NOx contribute to the formation of fine particles and NOx contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone. Fine particles and ozone are associated with thousands of premature deaths and illnesses each year. Additionally, these pollutants reduce visibility and damage sensitive ecosystems. According to EPA, by the year 2015, the Clean Air Interstate Rule will result in:

  • nearly $100 billion in annual health benefits, annually preventing 17,000 premature deaths, millions of lost work and school days, and tens of thousands of non-fatal heart attacks and hospital admissions.
  • nearly $2 billion in annual visibility benefits in southeastern national parks, such as Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah.
  • significant regional reductions in sulfur and nitrogen deposition, reducing the number of acidic lakes and streams in the eastern U.S. CAIR covers 28 eastern states and the District of Columbia.

In this rule, EPA finds that SO2 and NOx emissions from 23 states and the District of Columbia contribute to unhealthy levels of fine particles in downwind states. In addition, NOx emissions in 25 eastern states and the District of Columbia contribute to unhealthy levels of 8-hour ozone in other downwind states. (See list of affected states below.) Based on an assessment of the emissions contributing to interstate transport of air pollution and available control measures, EPA has determined that achieving required reductions in the identified states by controlling emissions from power plants is highly cost effective. States must achieve the required emission reductions using one of two compliance options:

1) meet the state’s emission budget by requiring power plants to participate in an EPA-administered interstate cap and trade system that caps emissions in two stages, or
2) meet an individual state emissions budget through measures of the state’s choosing. CAIR provides a Federal framework requiring states to reduce emissions of SO2 and NOx. 

EPA anticipates that states will achieve this primarily by reducing emissions from the power generation sector. These reductions will be substantial and cost-effective, so in many areas, the reductions are large enough to meet the air quality standards. The Clean Air Act requires that states meet the new national, health-based air quality standards for ozone and PM2.5 standards by requiring reductions from many types of sources. Some areas may need to take additional local actions. CAIR reductions will lessen the need for additional local controls. This final rule provides cleaner air while allowing for continued economic growth. By enabling states to address air pollutants from power plants in a cost effective fashion, this rule will protect public health and the environment without interfering with the steady flow of affordable energy for American consumers and businesses. If states choose to meet their emissions reductions requirements by controlling power plant emissions through an interstate cap and trade program, EPA’s modeling shows that:

In 2010, CAIR will reduce SO2 emissions by 4.3 million tons -- 45% lower than 2003 levels, across states covered by the rule. 
By 2015, CAIR will reduce SO2 emissions by 5.4 million tons, or 57%, from 2003 levels in these states. 

At full implementation, CAIR will reduce power plant SO2 emissions in affected states to just 2.5 million tons, 73% below 2003 emissions levels. CAIR also will achieve significant NOx reductions across states covered by the rule. In 2009, CAIR will reduce NOx emissions by 1.7 million tons or 53% from 2003 levels. In 2015, CAIR will reduce power plant NOx emissions by 2 million tons, achieving a regional emissions level of 1.3 million tons, a 61% reduction from 2003 levels. In 1990, national SO2 emissions from power plants were 15.7 million tons compared to 3.5 million tons that will be achieved with CAIR. In 1990, national NOx emissions from power plants were 6.7 million tons, compared to 2.2 million tons that will be achieved with CAIR. In upcoming but closely related action, EPA will impose the first ever federally-mandated requirements that coal-fired electric utilities reduce their emissions of mercury. Together the Clean Air Mercury Rule and the Clean Air Interstate Rule create a multi-pollutant strategy to reduce emissions throughout the United States. The Bush Administration continues to believe that the President’s Clear Skies legislation is a more efficient, effective, long-term mechanism to achieve large-scale national reductions. Clear Skies legislation applies nationwide and is modeled on the highly successful Acid Rain Program. The Agency remains committed to working with Congress to pass legislation. States listed are required to control for both fine particle pollution and ozone transport unless otherwise noted : 1. Alabama 2. Arkansas (ozone only) 3. Connecticut (ozone only) 4. Florida 5. Delaware (ozone only) 6. Georgia (fine particle pollution only) 7. Illinois 8. Indiana 9. Iowa 10. Kentucky 11. Louisiana 12. Maryland 13. Massachusetts (ozone only) 14. Michigan 15. Minnesota (fine particle pollution only) 16. Mississippi 17. Missouri 18. New York 19. New Jersey (ozone only) 20. North Carolina 21. Ohio 22. Pennsylvania 23. South Carolina 24. Tennessee 25. Texas (fine particle pollution only) 26. Virginia 27. West Virginia 28. Wisconsin & District of Columbia For information on the Clean Air Interstate Rule, visit www.epa.gov/cair Source: EPA

Reference: This article can be found on the webpage AAEA under the subtitle for Air. Or you can simply click on this and scroll down to the article titled EPA Announces Clean Air Interstate Rule --Susan 12:25, 25 October 2007 (PDT)