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July 06, 2010

EPA Proposed Transport Rule Would Reduce Air Pollution and Save Tens of thousands of Lives

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By 2014, EPA modeling projects that implementation of the Transport Rule, as proposed, combined with other state and EPA actions, would reduce 2005 emissions from electric generating units in the covered states by:

- 6.3 million tons of SO2 per year
– 1.4 million tons of NOX per year

• 300,000 tons of NOX during ozone season (included in NOX estimate above)
• These reductions represent a 71% reduction in SO2 and a 52% reduction in NOX emissions from power plants from 2005 levels in the covered states.


• EPA estimates the annual benefits from the proposed rule range between $120-$290 billion (2006 $) in 2014.

– Most of these benefits are public health-related.
– $3.4 billion are attributable to visibility improvements in areas such as national parks and wilderness areas.
– Other nonmonetized benefits include reductions in mercury ontamination, acid rain, eutrophication of estuaries and coastal waters, nd acidification of forest soils.
• EPA estimates annual compliance costs at $2.8 billion in 214.

• Modest costs mean small effects on electricity eneration. EPA estimates that in 2014:

– Electricity prices increase less than 2 percent.
– Natural gas prices increase less than 1 percent.
– Coal use is reduced by less than 1 percent.


To assure emissions reductions happen quickly, EPA is proposing federal implementation plans, or FIPs, for each of the states covered by this rule.
– A state may choose to develop a state plan to achieve the required reductions, replacing its federal plan, and may choose which types of sources to control.
• Proposal defines upwind state obligations to reduce pollution significantly contributing to downwind nonattainment areas based on:
– the magnitude of a state’s contribution,
– the cost of controlling pollution from various sources, and
– the air quality impacts of reductions.


To meet this proposed rule, EPA anticipates power plants will:
– Operate already installed control equipment more frequently,
– Use lower sulfur coal, or
– Install pollution control equipment such as low NOX burners, Selective Catalytic Reduction, or scrubbers (Flue Gas Desulfurization).
• CAIR remains in place until this rule is finalized


Proposal signed on July 6, 2010.
- Three public hearings will be held.
– EPA will continue to work with states, tribes, the public, environmental groups, and industry to address comments and to implement the rule when final.
– Final rule expected in late spring 2011.


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