Regulatory Developments, Special Topics in Environmental Management

Interstate Pollution FIP Proposed

The EPA has released a preproposal for a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to carry out its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) in states that do not have approved state implementation plans (SIP) showing how they will comply with the CSAPR.

The proposal seeks to find that emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) in 23 eastern states affect the ability of downwind states to attain and maintain the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. (NOx is a significant contributor to the atmospheric formation of ozone.) For these 23 eastern states, the EPA proposes to issue FIPs that generally update the existing CSAPR NOx ozone-season emissions budgets for electricity generating units (EGUs) and implement these budgets via the CSAPR NOx ozone-season allowance trading program.

While states are “required” to submit SIPs to meet the good neighbor provisions, they may also choose not to do so. For states that fail to submit an approval plan or where the EPA has disapproved the plan, the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the Agency to put FIPs in place.

The EPA is proposing implementation of the FIP starting with the 2017 ozone season.

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