Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One more on power plants

Regarding the previous couple of posts on smokestack emissions at coal-burning power plants, I dug up a piece I wrote at work last month about the EPA's proposed rules. The full article is here, but following is the important part:

The regional haze program has been in effect for several years. States were required to submit proposals to the EPA outlining their plans for reducing emissions of air pollutants that impair visibility. State implementation plans were due in December 2007.

The public comment period for the proposed HAPs rule ends July 5. The rule would reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants, or HAPs, from new and existing coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units. The rule addresses metals (including mercury), acid gases, organics and dioxin/furans.

The public comment period on new clean water standards ends July 19. The rule seeks to lower the number of fish killed in water-cooling systems at power plants.

The final rule on the EPA's proposed clean air transport rule is due in July. It would reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide by 71 percent from 2005 levels by 2014 and nitrogen dioxide emissions by 52 percent from 2005 levels to 2012.

The final rule deals with coal combustion residuals, commonly known as fly ash, bottom ash and boiler slag. The rule would require liners at existing surface impoundments and provide incentives to close those impoundments. It also establishes dam safety requirements to address the structural integrity of surface impoundments. The public comment period ended in November 2010. A final rule is expected in mid-2012, with compliance required between 2018 and 2021.

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