Greenhouse gas limits reinforced at existing facilities; NSPS still a big concern

On July 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will not revise greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting thresholds under the Clean Air Act. Through this final step, EPA decided that the overall applicability limits for GHG sources it presented through Step 1 and Step 2 of the GHG Tailoring Rule should be upheld.

The rule calls for new facilities with GHG emissions of at least 100,000 tons per year (tpy) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to continue to be required to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits. Existing facilities that emit 100,000 tpy CO2e and make changes increasing the GHG emissions by at least 75,000 tpy of CO2e, must also obtain PSD permits.

This final rule – Step 3 of the Tailoring Rule – was at one time expected to be more stringent, said Kevin Desharnais, partner at Mayer Brown. At the time that Steps 1 and 2 were announced, he said, EPA had indicated that it would consider lowering the threshold in Step 3, “which would potentially bring in a much wider range of sources smaller than those regulated now.”

However, since EPA declined to lower the threshold, an influx of additional sources needed to be regulated is avoided for the time being, Desharnais said. “There is now certainty through 2016 as to which sources will be subject to regulation, and which modifications will trigger permitting requirements. This will allow sources to plan for the potential applicability when considering modifications, or constructing new facilities.”

While the Tailoring Rule reinforces greenhouse gas limits at existing coal-fired facilities, the recently proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) threatens to limit greenhouse gases at new facilities. The limitations would be much stricter on new facilities than on existing – requiring any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. The average coal plant emits an average of 1,768 pounds of CO2/MWh.

Some in the power industry view the proposed rule greenhouse gas NSPS as an attack on coal generation. “By banning the future of efficient and effective coal in the United States, coal may instead by exported and used overseas,” said Scott Segal, executive director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC).

Adam Kushner, partner at Hogan Lovell, said that having both a GHG tailoring rule and a GHG NSPS would be overkill. “Since the Tailoring Rule has been sustained, the need for NSPS has been diminished.”

EPA is still seeking additional comments on the proposed GHG NSPS through the end of July. Steve Fine, vice president of ICF International, said a final rule will likely come “later this year, presumably sometime after the election.”

Read more environmental monitoring news

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Using Predictive Analytics to Minimize Risk Associated with Aging Assets

It's no secret that an aging asset infrastructure is of major concern to power generation companies.

Remote Vibration Monitoring Keeps Power Plants Running at Full Capacity

You can get the monitoring and analysis you need without requiring your equipment specialist to be on-site at the plant.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

Canada, UK sign nuclear energy cooperation deal

The United Kingdom and Canada signed a memorandum of understanding on civil nuclear energy co...

Westinghouse, European partners to supply nuclear fuel

Westinghouse Electric Co. and eight European consortium partners received 2 million euros ($2...

Appeals court backs MSHA on plan for mine serving Prairie State

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has agreed with a branch of th...

Appalachian Power explains lack of more coal-to-gas conversions

The Appalachian Power Co. (APCo) unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) told the West Vir...

Court rules against limits on power plant mercury emissions

A divided Supreme Court on Monday ruled against federal regulators' attempts to limit power p...

SunEdison purchases wind power portfolio from TerraForm Power

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) and TerraForm Power Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP) closed on the acquisition...

European regulators clear Siemens' buyout of Dresser-Rand

European regulators have cleared Siemens' $7.6 billion acquisition of the U.S. oilfield equip...

Proposed Md. smog regulations get an airing at hearing

Environmentalists are raising a stink about Maryland's approach to air pollution.

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Product Listings

Amended Silicates HgX

Amended Silicates® HgX is an innovative, non-ca...

PowerPAC Premium®

This halogenated powdered activated carbon (PAC...

The NEW FastPAC™ Series

These patent-pending, next-generation powdered ...

Circulating Dry Scrubber

CDS removes acid gas pollutants and heavy metal...
Power Industry Wire News

W.S. Darley & Company Hosts Its Inaugural Charity Golf Tournament

W.S. Darley & Company Hosts Its Inaugural Charity Golf Tournament

Younicos, Duke Energy, and Samsung SDI to Enhance 36-Megawatt Battery Storage Plant in Texas

Younicos, Duke Energy, and Samsung SDI to Enhance 36-Megawatt Battery Storage Plant in ...

AXT Appoints Hong Q. Hou as Chief Operating Officer

AXT Appoints Hong Q. Hou as Chief Operating Officer

Cardinal Energy Group (CEGX) Settles Dispute With Concho Oilfield Services, LLC

Cardinal Energy Group (CEGX) Settles Dispute With Concho Oilfield Services, LLC

BioPower Operations Corporation's Subsidiary Green3Power Wins Award to Build a $175 Million Renewable Energy Facility in St. Lucie County, Florida Using the G3P Gasification Technology

BioPower Operations Corporation's Subsidiary Green3Power Wins Award to Build a $175 Mil...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>