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Additional Aspect of the Clean Air Interstate Rule to be Reconsidered

Release Date: 12/23/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(12/23/05) In light of a recent court opinion, EPA is reconsidering an additional aspect of its Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). CAIR requires 28 States and the District of Columbia to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from power plants. Today's action will not delay implementation of the rule, which will achieve the largest reduction in air pollution in more than a decade. EPA issued the final CAIR on March 10, 2005.

EPA has decided to grant an industry petition asking EPA to reconsider and provide an opportunity for public comment on an additional issue related to the CAIR. The petition asks EPA to examine the impact of a recent D.C. Circuit Court decision, New York v. EPA, 413 F.3d 3 (D.C. Cir. 2005), on analyses used in developing CAIR to identify highly cost-effective emissions reductions.

This decision vacated the pollution control project (PCP) exclusion in the New Source Review (NSR) regulations. The exclusion allowed for certain environmentally beneficial PCPs to be excluded from certain NSR requirements. EPA's analysis shows that the court decision does not impact the CAIR analyses. EPA is providing an opportunity for public comment on the issue and is not proposing any changes to CAIR at this time.

If requested, EPA will hold a public hearing on this issue for reconsideration on Jan. 17, 2005 in Washington, D.C. EPA will continue to accept public comments on this issue until Feb. 16, 2006.

EPA has received 11 requests from states, environmental groups and power companies to reconsider certain aspects of the final CAIR rule. Through Federal Register notices dated Aug. 24, 2005 and Dec. 2, 2005, EPA began the reconsideration processes on five specific issues in CAIR and requested comment on those issues.

EPA expects to take final action on reconsideration of these issues by March 15, 2006. Information related to the Clean Air Interstate Rule, this notice of reconsideration, and the issues for which EPA previously initiated processes of reconsideration, is available at: