EPA Proposes “Good Neighbor” Regional Ozone Transport Plan for 2015 National Ozone Ambient Air Quality Standard – Environment


United States: EPA Proposes “Good Neighbor” Regional Ozone Transport Plan for 2015 National Ozone Ambient Air Quality Standard

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On April 6, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release its draft Federal Ozone Transport Implementation Plan for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) of 2015 Ozone Standards, also known as the latest iteration of the EPA Interstate Standards. Air pollution rule or “good neighbor” plan. The proposal would subject 26 upstream states to the “good neighbor” or “interstate transportation” provision of the Clean Air Act, as the EPA proposes to find that nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, which are a precursor to ozone formation, upwind states contribute significantly to downwind states achieving and maintaining the 2015 NAAQS for ozone.

The good neighbor provision directs states to restrict emissions that will “significantly contribute” to the non-achievement or interfere with maintenance in any other state with respect to any primary or secondary NAAQS in an implementation plan. status (SIP). If an upstream state does not submit a SIP that complies with the good neighbor requirement, or if the EPA disapproves a SIP, the EPA may issue a federal implementation plan to protect downstream states. This requirement involves a long history of EPA rules that have been the subject of considerable litigation.

The current EPA proposal has two main components, which address two categories of emission sources: (1) electric generating units (EGUs) and (2) non-electric generating units (non-EGUs). ). First, beginning in 2023, 25 states would be subject to revised emissions budgets for fossil fuel-fired power plants under the NOx Ozone Season Group 3 trading program. existing NOx emission controls and retrofitting new controls by the 2026 ozone season. Daily emission rate limits would serve as a supporting control measure.

Second, for non-EGUs, beginning in 2026, 23 states would be subject to new NOx emissions standards for certain units of emissions at certain industrial facilities, including:

  • reciprocating internal combustion engines in natural gas pipeline transportation

  • furnaces in the manufacture of concrete and cement products

  • boilers and furnaces in steelworks and ferroalloy manufacture

  • furnaces in the manufacture of glass and glass products

  • high-emitting equipment and large boilers in basic chemical manufacturing, petroleum and coal product manufacturing, and pulp, paper, and paperboard mills

The EPA proposed to select these emissions controls, in part, based on an estimated break-even point for non-EGU sources at $7,500 per ton of emissions reduction.

Publication in the Federal Register as scheduled on April 6, 2022, will trigger a 60-day public comment period to the EPA on the proposal. The EPA will also hold a virtual public hearing on April 21, 2022.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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