ACAP Battles for Equitable NOx Reductions
Utilities, labor groups and other organizations from several Midwest, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states have announced the formation of the Alliance for Constructive Air Policy (ACAP), a coalition committed to working with policymakers to find cost-effective, equitable approaches for reducing ozone pollution in key regions of the country.
ACAP members are developing an alternative to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA) proposed call for state implementation plans (SIP) to reduce NOx emissions under the Clean Air Act.
ACAP is consulting with policymakers in states affected by the SIP call to develop a framework reflecting the economic and environmental needs of subregions served by ACAP members to guarantee timely NOx reductions.
“ACAP`s proposal to policymakers envisions a two-step program to reduce NOx emissions,” said Elizabeth Lanier of Cinergy Corp, ACAP spokesperson. “The first phase would involve reductions of 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2004. In the second phase, we are proposing enhanced air quality modeling to determine the need for further reductions. Any additional reductions would be implemented by 2007. We believe this approach is better, smarter, cheaper and fairer than EPA`s SIP call.”
The SIP call, proposed in November 1997, would require uniform NOx emissions reductions of 85 percent by utilities and other large sources in a 22-state region. The proposal, however, did not take into account modeling efforts by the 37-state Ozone Transport Assessment Group (OTAG), which indicated that NOx emissions from the Midwest and Southern states have limited impacts on air quality problems in the Northeast.
ACAP is also suggesting a subregional NOx trading market, based on the success of the SO2 emissions trading system. Essentially, this system would allow a market-based approach to limiting emissions, producing cost savings and incentives for the development of new technologies to improve air quality, according to ACAP. p