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U.S. EPA Adopts a Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

On July 6, 2011 the U.S. EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).

The rule addresses the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act (CAA) which generally requires that State Implementation Plans contain adequate provisions prohibiting any source within the state from emitting any air pollutant in amounts which will contribute significantly to nonattainment in, or interfere with attainment maintenance by, any other state with respect to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Background on CAIR

On May 12, 2005 the EPA issued the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). However, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia remanded CAIR to the EPA in 2008, leaving CAIR intact, but requiring the EPA to replace it with a regulation which adequately addresses the “good neighbor” provision of the CAA. The CSAPR replaces the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule starting in 2012. The CSAPR defines the portion of an upwind state’s emissions which “significantly contribute” ozone or PM2.5 pollution to nonattainment or maintenance areas in downwind states. The regulation considers the magnitude of a state’s contribution, the air quality benefits of reductions, as well as the cost of controlling pollution from various sources. Pursuant to the regulation, states are required to eliminate the portion of their “significant contribution” by establishing a limit/budget. As proposed with CAIR, cap and trade regimes will be utilized to achieve the emission reductions. The rule is expected to significantly reduce SO2 and NOx emissions from power plants in the eastern half of the United States. To learn more about how the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will affect individual states, view this article on our website. If you have questions about these issues, please contact the Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group at Bingham Greenebaum Doll.

  • Partner

    Jennifer is a partner in the firm's Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group. She has practiced environmental law for over twenty years with experience both in the public and private sector. She provides environmental ...

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