Business Roundtable Policy Positions onExisting and Proposed RegulationsEnvironmental Regulations
The Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled an aggressive Clean Air Act and Clean WaterAct regulatory agenda that, cumulatively, threatens a significant number of electric powerplants and industrial boilers. Most of these regulations are scheduled to be finalized over thenext two years.
NESHAPS for Utility Boilers:
Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to establishNational Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) for major (and area)sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) that are subject to regulation. Pursuant to aconsent decree approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, EPA isrequired to issue a proposed rule for the regulation of HAPS emissions from coal and oil-fired utility boilers by March 16, 2011 and to finalize the rule by November 16, 2011. It isanticipated that any final rule will require the installation of costly new control equipmentat virtually every existing coal-fired utility boiler. In addition, it is not clear if technology isavailable to meet the anticipated standards if EPA does not use its authority to sub-categorize or tailor its regulations depending on coal types. Regardless of the final form of the rule, it is anticipated that significant coal generating capacity will be at risk for closure asa consequence of the rule.
NESHAPS for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers:
In two separate rulemakingproceedings, EPA proposed rules in April 2010 that would reduce HAAPS emissions fromexisting and new industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters locatedat major sources and reduce HAPS emissions from existing and new industrial, commercialand institutional boilers located at area sources. On December 7, 2010, EPA petitioned thefederal court for an extension of the deadline for issuance of a final rule to April 13, 2012.EPA argued that it needed additional time to review over 4800 public comments filed in therulemaking proceedings. In addition, EPA indicated that the final rules would reflect materialchanges from the proposed rules. According to an EPA Fact Sheet on the NOPR for majorsources, there are approximately 13,555 boiler and process heaters at major sources in theU.S. The Fact Sheet estimates that the total national capital cost for a final major source rulewould be approximately $9.5 billion in 2012, and the total national annual cost would be$2.9 billion in 2013. EPA also estimated that for area sources, there are approximately183,000 boilers at 92,000 facilities. Most of these area sources are owned and operated bysmall entities. EPA estimates that the total national capital cost for a final area source rulewould be approximately $2.5 billion, and the total national annual cost would be $1.0 billion.