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EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Publishes Proposed Rule to Cap Carbon Emissions from New Power Plants

U.S. EPA’s long anticipated proposed rule for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new power plants was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 8, 2014. In a year that is likely to be filled with significant U.S. EPA rulemakings, this proposed rule for new fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs) will be particularly important. U.S. EPA’s prior proposed rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-fired EGUs garnered an unprecedented 2.5 million public comments. Further, the rule is one of the centerpieces of the White House’s Climate Action Plan

As we previously reported, the specific standards U.S. EPA is accepting comments on are as follows:

  • Proposed fossil fuel-fired utility boilers and integrated gasification combined cycle (“IGCC”) units limits are:

  • 1,100 lb CO2/MWh gross over a 12-operating month period, or

  • 1,000-1,050 lb CO2/MWh gross over an 84-operating month (7-year) period

  • Proposed natural gas-fired stationary combustion units limits are:

  • 1,000 lb CO2/MWh gross for larger units (> 850 mmBtu/hr)

  • 1,100 lb CO2/MWh gross for smaller units (≤ 850 mmBtu/hr)

Although there are many similarities between U.S. EPA’s prior proposed rule issued in April 2012 and this new proposed rule, U.S. EPA will not reconsider comments on the prior rulemaking, so many interested parties will need to submit new comments even if duplicative. U.S. EPA is withdrawing the April 2012 proposed rule pursuant to a withdrawal notice that was also published on Jan. 8, 2014. Further, there are several key differences between the new proposed rule and the April 2012 proposed rule— notably the emission limits for boilers and IGCC units are slightly higher—on which the Agency has requested comment. The comment deadline for the new proposed rule is currently set for March 10, 2014.

A copy of the proposed rule is available online here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-08/pdf/2013-28668.pdf

© 2020 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume IV, Number 11


About this Author

Charles Denton Environmental Attorney

Charlie Denton represents an array of clients in environmental and toxic tort litigation, enforcement defense, regulatory compliance solutions and pollution insurance coverage disputes. He also serves as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) neutral mediator and arbitrator. Persistent and highly collaborative, Charlie can take complicated issues and challenges and then identify a strategic path to achieve the client’s objectives.

Charlie’s representation of industrial, municipal, institutional, educational and individual clients includes judicial and administrative environmental...

Michael Elam Environmental Energy Attorney

Veteran attorney Michael Elam brings more than three decades of experience in environmental, energy, infrastructure and natural resource law in both the private and public sectors. He structures creative agreements and helps secure approvals and financing for complex national and international agreements involving the development, remediation and financing of environmentally challenged or controversial projects surrounding energy and sensitive water bodies or sources.

Michael represents businesses and other clients in complex projects and transactions, disputes and litigation. He is known for helping clients obtain creative and cutting-edge agreements, particularly with respect to infrastructure and energy-related international projects. Michael offers deep experience in investigations, risk avoidance, risk allocation and dispute resolution with a chess vs. checkers approach to clients’ long-term goals. He is effective in working with federal, state and international governments and representing private sector clients seeking to secure approvals and financing for sensitive development projects or to resolve significant, complex claims.

Michael advises on virtually all aspects of acquiring, selling, developing, financing and leasing of properties, businesses or projects. He is particularly capable in matters involving environmental, water or energy concerns or complicated funding and delicate public relations and political issues, including international projects in conflict zones and politically frangible areas. Michael has counseled clients and coordinated teams addressing the siting, permitting, construction, sale and financing of traditional and renewable facilities, transmission lines, storage, refineries, pipelines and transportation infrastructure projects in the U.S. and internationally.

Notably, Michael possesses a keen understanding of the inner workings of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governmental agencies and capital markets and has facilitated siting approvals, multiparty agreements and financing for projects. This includes substantial infrastructure projects and business transactions in challenging countries, including Iraq, where he worked with the U.S. State Department and represented the Government of Iraq in negotiations with numerous corporations, countries and NGOs on multibillion-dollar energy and infrastructure matters.

Timothy Haley, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Indianapolis, Environmental Law Attorney,

Timothy A. Haley is a partner in the Environmental Department in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis, Indiana office.

Mr. Haley focuses his practice on regulatory issues arising from environmental laws. These issues include planning and diligence in business and real estate transactions, permitting, administrative rulemaking proceedings, administrative enforcement defense and other administrative or civil litigation. Mr. Haley also advises clients during acquisitions of potentially environmentally impaired properties, and on compliance...

Anthony C. Sullivan, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Indianapolis, Environmental and Litigation Law Attorney

Anthony (Tony) C. Sullivan, a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis office, concentrates on environmental law. His practice focuses primarily on air and water issues, but it also covers virtually all areas of environmental law, including solid waste issues, Superfund matters, underground storage tanks, and asbestos concerns.

Mr. Sullivan’s practice generally involves litigation, counseling, and negotiation. In addition to appearing before federal courts, state courts, and administrative courts on behalf of his clients, he has...