March 17, 2004
WESTAR Council Meeting
Conference Call Summary
The meeting began at 1:00 Pacific time. Council members and delegates present
Andy Ginsburg, OR Mary Uhl, NM
Brian Gustafson, SD Don Vidrine, MT
Tom Bachman, ND Dave Klemp, MT
Ron King, AK Colleen Cripps, NV
Martin Bauer, ID Ray Mohr, CO
Bernie Daily, WY Margie Perkins, CO
John Coefield, MT Stu Clark, WA
Ira Domsky, AZ Rick Sprott, UT
WESTAR staff present: Dan Johnson, Bob Lebens, Don Arkell
1) Updates/announcements (Dan J)
2) PSD reform initiative – status report (Dan J, others)
3) Supreme Court decision on Cominco (Ron King)
4) EPA mercury proposal (Rick)
5) Update on CEED lawsuit re annex (Ira)
6) Extension of IAQR for western states (Don)
7) Other topics as time permits
Project to align EPA national and regional priorities (Ray Mohr)
1) Updates/announcements (Dan J)
Agenda review included the addition of Ray Mohr (CO) briefing the directors on
“Project to align EPA national and regional priorities “.
There were no corrections or additions to the 1/14/04 WESTAR Council meeting
The deadline for hotel reservations at the Tempe Mission Palms is this coming
Friday, March 19th. Their telephone number is 800-547-8705.
At the request of several states, EPA has extended the comment period on their
proposed mercury reduction rule for utilities, and scheduled a public hearing in
Denver. The hearing is schedule for 3/31/04 at the Hyatt Regency. The comment
deadline has been extended to 4/30/04.
The STAPPA fall membership meeting is scheduled to be at the Coeur d’Alene
resort October 23-27.
Andy’s scheduled rotation into the Hazardous Waste Division has been postponed
until the end of June.
Dan noted that WESTAR’s internet service provider was rejecting emails from
some accounts in February – New Mexico and Hawaii were two states that were
known to have gotten caught up in this, but we do not know what other emails did
not get through. The problem has been resolved.
For those who haven’t yet done so, Dan requested that states summarize their
priorities in an email or a short summary by this coming Friday.
2) PSD reform initiative – status report
Dan provided a short status report on this project, based on the meeting held in San
Francisco March 2-3. Click here for a copy of the meeting summary. Principles,
questions and issues, and a draft work plan were completed. The goal is to complete
recommendations by the end of February 2005. Colleen noted that contractor support
will be needed for this project, which brings up the question of funding.
Action item: Dan will schedule a conference call for Thursday, March 25 at 8:30
Pacific time to discuss funding options for this project. A draft letter, requesting
funding support from the FLMs and EPA will be circulated in advance of the call.
3) Supreme Court decision on Cominco
This item was postponed until the next conference call (or more likely the business
4) EPA Mercury proposal
Rick Sprott, who was scheduled to speak on this topic, was unable to join the call.
Dan gave a brief description of EPA’s December 15, 2003 proposal, the role (or lack
of role) that the utility MACT advisory committee played leading to EPA’s proposal,
and the supplemental proposal of a model cap and trade rule. EPA has scheduled a
hearing in Denver March 31st, and has extended the comment period until April 30th.
Whereas the views among western states on EPA’s proposal are not consistent, each
state was encouraged to comment directly to EPA. New Mexico does plan to provide
comments at the Denver hearing. Andy forwarded a copy of a nationally syndicated
article on EPA’s proposal, and the process they used to make the proposal.
5) Update on CEED lawsuit regarding annex
Ira noted that an amicus brief is being drafted by the AZ AG’s office, in collaboration
with other states. Ira will circulate an email on this in the coming days.
6) Extension of IAQR for western states
Don summarized that EPA is considering extending the IAQR cap-and-trade
programs to western states and he outlined the basic program elements. He reviewed
a list of draft principles that could apply if IAQR were extended, which were
developed by an ad hoc work group of the WRAP Stationary Sources Joint Forum. In
April, the WRAP board will be asked only to endorse principles to apply if IAQR
were extended to western states. The WRAP board would not be asked to support or
oppose western IAQR extension
There were questions about EPA’s legal authority to mix western RH in with an
eastern interstate transport rule. Other issues included not knowing what appropriate
caps should be for RH as well as other regulatory issues; Resources needed to
implement cap-and-trade versus case-by-case BART; Effects of cross-country
trading; How localized impacts would be mitigated; Implications of regulatory
certainties advocated by utilities. A written version of the principles would be
circulated soon to the ad hoc work group for further comment, then to the SSJF. From
there it would be presented to the WRAP board.
The discussion concluded although states don’t know enough now to make a
judgment about whether or not IAQR should be extended to the west, some principles
could be agreed upon. Further discussions by WRAP and others would continue and
state directors should track this issue.
Dan will give STAPPA a heads up about what we are doing. Don will keep directors
informed of progress.
7) Other topics
Ray Mohr described a pilot project he is involved in with EPA and ECOS to
align EPA’s regional and national priorities. Comments on the National Program
Guidance are due by March 30th. Ray noted that this is a good opportunity for the
western states to promote priorities that are of particular importance to the
Action item: Dan will review the National Program Guidance and circulate an
email summarizing the extent to which western state priorities are addressed, and
in particular, look to ensure that maintaining clean air (i.e., PSD implementation)
is given an adequate priority.
The conference call ended at approximately 2:32 Pacific time.