The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its updated Cross-State Air Pollution Rule set to be implemented in May 2017.

EPA finalized Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) that provide summertime budgets for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from power plants in 22 eastern U.S. states, not including North Carolina. These plants are believed to contribute to downwind emissions of NOx. The rule also responds to the July 2015 remand of certain CSAPR budgets by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The court ruled that EPA’s existing requirements were too broad and required some states to cut more pollution than necessary.

It also permits allowance trading programs for implementation. EPA is only finalizing the FIPs for states that have not submitted State Implementation Plans (SIPs). EPA estimates that in 2017, the rule will help cut ozone season NOx emissions by 80,000 tons, a 20 percent reduction from 2015 levels.

EPA published the original rule on August 8, 2011 to address interstate transport of emissions under the 1997 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and interstate transport of fine particulate matter under the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA is finalizing the rule to address interstate transport of ozone pollution with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

The final CSAPR update is expected to deliver total benefits of $880 million per year, including $810 million in health-related benefits and climate-related co-benefits estimated at around $66 million per year due to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

Click to read the final rule