Air Quality Legislative and Regulatory Predictions

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					Legislative and Regulatory
Update on Clean Air Issues
Facing Counties

Bill Becker
Executive Director

National Association of Counties 2011 Legislative
Conference, March 6, 2011
What I Will Cover
   The Benefits of the Clean Air Act of 1990
   Legislative Attacks on the Clean Air Act
   EPA’s Regulatory Agenda
       ACT OF 1990
         Benefits            Year 2010    Year 2020
                              (cases)      (cases)
Adult Mortality-particles     160,000      230,000
Infant Mortality-particles      230          280

Mortality-ozone                4,300        7,100
Chronic Bronchitis             54,000       75,000

Acute Myocardial Infection    130,000      200,000
Asthma Exacerbation           1,700,000    2,400,000
Emergency Room Visits          86,000      120,000
School Loss Days              3,200,000    5,400,000
Lost Work Days               13,000,000   17,000,000
Legislative Attacks on the Clean
Air Act
   H.R. 1—FY 2011 Appropriations (adopted)
       Poe (R-TX)—prohibits EPA from funding programs to regulate
        greenhouse gases from stationary sources (e.g., permitting,
        NSPS, Energy Star, research, training for local agencies, etc.)
          For permitting, doesn’t alter the underlying requirements—facilities
           will still need to obtain pre-construction permits
          Where EPA issues the permit, the result will be a de-facto
           construction ban in those states
       Pompeo (R-KS)—cuts $8.5 million from EPA’s GHG emissions
        inventory program
Legislative Attacks on the Clean
Air Act (con’t)
   H.R. 1—FY 2011 Appropriations (adopted)
       Carter (R-TX)—prohibits EPA from implementing the
        regulatory program to control toxic pollution from cement kilns
       Young (R-AK)—prohibits EPA from funding its EAB to review
        permits for OCS sources located off the Arctic coast
       Noem (R-SD)—prohibits EPA from revising the National
        Ambient Air Quality Standard for coarse particle matter
       Luetkemeyer (R-MO)—cuts funding for the Intergovernmental
        Panel on Climate Change (leading scientific body assessing
        climate change)
Legislative Attacks on the Clean
Air Act (con’t)
   H.R. 1—FY 2011 Appropriations (adopted)
       Cuts grants to state and local air pollution control agencies by
        about $100 million below FY 2011 requested levels
          Agencies receive over $220 million from EPA each year under
           Sections 103/105 of the CAA
          These funds help carry out important clean air programs,
           including, among others, monitoring, strategy development,
           compliance assistance, enforcement and permitting.
          Over the past 15 years, these grants have decreased by 1/3 in
           purchasing power
          The Obama FY 2011 request called for an $82.5 million increase
           for core programs ($45 million), monitoring ($12.5 million) and
           GHG permitting ($25 million)
Legislative Attacks on the Clean
Air Act (con’t)
   Upton/Inhofe Bills
       Prohibits EPA from regulating GHGs
       Repeals “endangerment finding,” GHG reporting rules, NSPS,
        and permitting regulations (including “Tailoring Rule”)
       Preempts California and other states from adopting clean car
        standards for GHGs
       Prohibits EPA from developing future fuel economy standards

   Capito/Rockefeller Bills
       Delays EPA GHG regulations for stationary sources for two
        years (leaves vehicle standards in place)
Legislative Attacks on the Clean
Air Act (con’t)
   REINS Act (proposal)
       No regulation with impacts greater than $100 million will take
        effect unless both chambers of Congress approve the rule and
        the President signs it into law; not limited to EPA
   Congressional Review Act (existing law)
       Within 60 days of a rule’s publication, Congress can take an
        “up or down” vote to rescind the rule; not subject to filibuster

   Legislative Riders (potential)
       Riders to constrain/rescind EPA authority could be offered on
        any major legislative proposals
EPA’s Regulatory Agenda

   Industrial Boilers
   GHG Regulations
       Permitting of Greenhouse Gases
       NSPS

   National Ambient Air Quality Standards
       Ozone
       Particle Matter

   Hazardous Air Pollutants From Utilities
EPA’s Regulatory Agenda: Regulating Hazardous
Air Pollutants From Industrial Boilers
     EPA issued a rule on 2/21/2011 that will reduce hazardous air
      pollutants, including mercury, metals and dioxin, from large industrial
     The rule is long overdue; initially promulgated in 9/2004; Court vacated
      in 6/2007
     EPA made major concessions to industry from the initial proposal
      (4/2010); Only new coal-fired boilers required to meet specific limits for
      Hg and CO. Biomass, oil-fired, and small coal-fired boilers are not
      required to meet specific limits; instead, they can meet “work practice”
      standards (e.g., tune-ups)
     Area sources only required to conduct an energy assessment
     EPA will “reconsider” the rule to evaluate additional data and
EPA’s Regulatory Agenda: Permitting of
Greenhouse Gases
   Clean Air Act requires major new sources, or existing ones making major
    modifications, that increase emissions (including GHGs) significantly to
    obtain a pre-construction permit
   Sources must meet the Best Available Control Technology (BACT)
   State and local permitting agencies determine BACT on a case-by-case
    basis, taking into account technical feasibility, cost, and other
    environmental and energy considerations
   BACT is generally expected to be defined as improved energy efficiency;
    Carbon Capture and Sequestration not a likely choice in the near future
   Permitting program started on January 2, 2011; permitting agencies are
    working with sources to issue permits expeditiously
EPA’s Regulatory Agenda: New
Source Performance Standards (NSPS)
   EPA is required under Section 111 (b) of the CAA to issue NSPS for new
    and modified sources; NSPS must reflect “best demonstrated technology”
   Section 111(d) requires regulation of existing sources, but only for
    pollutants for which there are no NAAQS or HAPs; therefore, applies to
   States issue NSPS for existing sources; standards can be less stringent
    and compliance deadlines longer than for new/modified sources
   In December, 2010, EPA announced a schedule for setting NSPS for
    power plants (proposal 7/2011, final 5/2012) and petroleum refineries
    (proposal 12/2011, final 11/2012)
   EPA has been conducting “listening sessions” seeking comments on the
    NSPS; states/localities had own session on 2/17/2011
EPA’s Regulatory Agenda: Ozone
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
   EPA proposed to strengthen the primary and secondary NAAQS
    for ground-level ozone in January 2010; final standard is delayed
    until July, 2011
   EPA proposed a range between 60-70 ppb for primary standard
   Previous standard was 75 ppb, but not consistent with
    recommendations of EPA’s independent scientists—CASAC
   States’ schedule
        States/localities required to expand ozone monitoring networks (270 more)
        Once standard is promulgated, states recommend areas to be designated
        States must submit SIPs (state strategies) to EPA for approval
        States required to meet standard; deadlines vary from 2014 to 2031
EPA’s Regulatory Agenda: Particle Matter (PM)
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
   CAA requires EPA to set NAAQS for certain pollutants, including particulate
    matter, to protect public health and welfare. EPA is not allowed to consider
    costs in setting the standard, but may do so in the implementation phase
   Studies have linked exposure to “coarse particles” to many health effects,
    including premature mortality, respiratory disease and heart attacks/strokes
   Existing 24-hour PM10 standard (150 ug/m3) was issued in 1987, and
    revised in 1997 and 2006; EPA expected to propose revisions this summer
   EPA is working with science advisors (CASAC) to determine what those
    changes should be; one option is to propose a rule generally equivalent to
    the current standard
   There will be a 90-day public comment period before the final rule is issued
EPA’s Regulatory Agenda: Hazardous Air Pollutants
From Utilities
   EPA will propose its “Utility MACT” rule on March 16, 2011
   Coal-fired power plants will be required to regulate hazardous air
    pollutants, including mercury, hydrogen chloride and heavy metals, by
    meeting the “Maximum Achievable Emissions Rate”
   These rules replace the “Clean Air Mercury Rule” (CAMR), struck down by
    the D.C. Circuit Court during the previous Administration as not complying
    with the Clean Air Act
   These rules expect to have enormous health and welfare benefits, as over
    2/3 of coal-fired boilers are older than 35 years and do not have modern
    pollution controls
For Further Information:
  Bill Becker
  Executive Director
  National Association of Clean Air Agencies

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