Environmental Update

EPA Announces Scope of Future Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Regulations

October 2, 2009

In a highly controversial but not unexpected move, on September 30, 2009 the federal EPA issued a proposed rule under the aegis of the Clean Air Act that makes it clear that the EPA intends to, for the first time, regulate carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions from over 13,000 power plants and other industrial and commercial facilities starting as early as 2010.  If this and related rules are finalized, certain subject facilities will be required to implement "best available control technologies”, which may prove very costly and in some cases technologically extremely difficult.  The rules will not be final for months, and litigation over EPA's authority to regulate GHG emissions from stationary sources is likely.  However, the proposed rule will have immediate impact in that it is expected to provide renewed impetus to pass comprehensive federal climate change legislation and will certainly provide support in efforts to force China and other major GHG emitters to commit to action at the climate change treaty meetings being held in Copenhagen in December.

 

See the EPA’s Proposed Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule

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