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Additional Details Announced on Proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule

Release Date: 05/19/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202 564-7842 /

(Washington DC- May 19, 2004) The Bush administration released a supplement to its proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule, providing additional implementation details, including model cap-and-trade programs for power plants that states may adopt to achieve required emissions reductions. The Clean Air Interstate Rule would establish permanent caps significantly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the eastern United States. In 2015, NOx emissions from the electric power sector would be 65 percent below today's levels. SO2 emissions from that sector would be 50 percent below current levels by 2015 and about 70 percent below when fully implemented.

"Last week we took final action on the nonroad diesel rule, part of the suite of Clean Air Rules, which will result in making that black puff of smoke we see from diesel engines a thing of the past," said EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt. "With these implementation details, we are now well on our way to finalizing the Clean Air Interstate Rule and slashing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and particulate health problems in many of our nation's urban areas. These actions are part of my commitment to accelerate our progress in meeting clean air goals so that all Americans will have cleaner air to breathe."

The proposed supplement provides for the use of a cap and trade program, like the Clean Air Act's Acid Rain program, to ensure complete accountability and transparency as this rule is implemented. Each of the 29 states affected and the District of Columbia must submit a plan to EPA that demonstrates how it will meet its assigned statewide SO2 and NOx emissions budget (i.e., emissions reduction requirements which are provided in the January proposal).

The Clean Air Interstate Rule (proposed in January 2004, formerly the Interstate Air Quality Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone) is a national tool that will help communities achieve clean air and meet the health-based fine particle and 8-hour ozone standards. When combined with the recently completed Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule and other national control programs, the reductions required by the Clean Air Interstate Rule will achieve significant regional improvements in air quality and reduce the need for additional local controls.

EPA will take public comments on the supplemental proposal for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA will also hold a public hearing on June 3 in the Washington, D.C. area to solicit comments. For more information on today's supplemental proposal, the public comment and hearing processes, and the January 2004 proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule, visit: .