The EPA finalized new regulations on Wednesday aimed at limiting smog pollution from power plants and other industrial facilities across 23 states, according to POLITICO Pro (subscription).
What’s going on: The plan, issued under the Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision, “targets pollution that floats across state lines and creates ground-level ozone, a precursor to smog, in downwind states. … EPA Administrator Michael Regan has packaged this and other regulations that affect coal-fired power plants … as a holistic effort to prompt utilities to close older plants rather than shoulder the cost of installing new pollution controls.”
Why it’s important: The EPA’s Federal Implementation Plan—which pertains to states including Nevada, Utah, Alabama, Wisconsin and California—will require states to comply with more stringent nitrogen oxide levels. Further reductions will be phased in beginning in 2024.
- The new rules also contain information about a modified emissions trading program. These are meant to help ensure compliance, which will cost an estimated $1 billion annually.
- The new rule is the latest in a string of rules put forth by the Biden administration to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change.
The NAM says: “The NAM has engaged early and often with the EPA as it has considered actions related to the ‘good neighbor’ proposal,” said NAM Director of Policy Energy and Resources Chris Morris.
- “Manufacturers are committed to clean air and healthy communities. We have taken the initiative to operate in more sustainable ways and we are proud of our record. Unfortunately, the EPA is moving forward with actions across the country that could result in the closing of power plants, increase already-high energy costs and jeopardize U.S. energy security.”
- “Instead of supporting domestic energy production and transmission, the EPA is pursuing costly policies that undermine the reliability of U.S. energy. The NAM will continue to work with the EPA and lawmakers to provide secure and reliable energy to manufacturers and American families alike.”