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
Siemens signs contract with Thailand for 18 industrial gas turbines

Siemens signs contract with Thailand for 18 industrial gas turbines

The units -- purchased by TEC Project Services Corporation (TPS), a subsidiary of the Japanes...
GE is supplying two sets of high-efficiency steam turbines and generators for Petrovietnam’s new coal-fired thermal power plant in Soc Trang.

Petrovietnam selects GE's high-efficiency steam turbines for new coal-fired power plant

GE is supplying two sets of high-efficiency steam turbines and generators for Petrovietnam’s ...
Duke Energy Renewables acquires 50-percent stake in Mesquite Creek Wind

Duke Energy Renewables acquires 50-percent stake in Mesquite Creek Wind

Duke Energy Renewables has acquired a 50-percent stake in Mesquite Creek Wind, a 211-MW wind ...
Co-op signs power purchase agreement for solar project in Colorado

Electric co-op signs solar power purchase agreement

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. signed a 25-year power purchase supply...
US construction spending at highest level in seven years

US construction spending reaches highest level in 7 years

U.S. construction spending in July climbed to its highest level in more than seven years, boo...
GE announces launch of latest aeroderivative gas turbine, LM6000-PF+

GE announces launch of latest aeroderivative gas turbine, LM6000-PF+

GE is launching its latest aeroderivative gas turbine, the LM6000-PF+, which employs technolo...
Sendai nuclear Unit 1 in Japan connects to power grid Kyushu Electric Power Co.

Sendai nuclear Unit 1 connects to grid

The Sendai 1 nuclear power unit in Japan is expected to reach commercial operations, almost t...
EPA allows one claim to stand in Sierra Club appeal of Schiller air permit

EPA allows one claim to stand in Sierra Club appeal of Schiller air permit

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a July 28 order...

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover
Products Showcase
GE announces launch of latest aeroderivative gas turbine, LM6000-PF+

GE announces launch of latest aeroderivative gas turbine, LM6000-PF+

GE is launching its latest aeroderivative gas turbine, the LM6000-PF+, which employs technologies from four GE businesses, bringing power online faster and more efficiently than ever before.

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

KPIT Selected by UPPCO to Deliver New SAP(R) Software Implementation and Electric Utility Transformation Project

KPIT Selected by UPPCO to Deliver New SAP(R) Software Implementation and Electric Utili...

Pacific Energy Development Announces Restructuring of Debt Facilities in Anticipation of Previously Announced Merger

Pacific Energy Development Announces Restructuring of Debt Facilities in Anticipation o...

Neah Power Systems, Inc.: August 2015 Update to Shareholders

Neah Power Systems, Inc.: August 2015 Update to Shareholders

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. Announces Purchase of 552,481 Common Shares by Scorpio Services Holding Limited

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. Announces Purchase of 552,481 Common Shares by Scorpio Services Ho...

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 >>