09/27/2017 - Regulatory Rollback

GHG New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants

by EELP Staff

The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following. If you’re a reporter and would like to speak with an expert on this rule, please email us.

Why it Matters

This rule, also known as “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Power Plants,” regulates carbon pollution from new or refurbished power plants. In addition, having this rule in place triggers the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) obligation to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants.

Current Status

The rule is in effect; litigation is suspended indefinitelyNorth Dakota v. EPA, No. 15-1381.

Dec. 6, 2018 EPA released proposed revisions to the Oct. 23, 2015 GHG New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants. The proposal changes the EPA determination of what is the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for newly constructed coal-fired units–removing partial carbon capture and storage as BSER.

Dec. 20, 2019 EPA publishes its proposed revised GHG New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants released on Dec. 6 in the Federal Register.

Feb. 7, 2019 EPA extends the public comment period to March 18, 2019 and notes a public hearing is scheduled in DC for Feb. 14, 2019. Comments may be submitted on the proposal here.

History

Oct. 23, 2015 EPA publishes a rule setting limits on CO2 emissions from new and refurbished power plants. North Dakota challenges the rule on the same day. North Dakota v. EPA, No. 15-1381.

Trump Era

March 28, 2017 President Trump’s Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth directs EPA to review and “if appropriate . . . publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding” the NSPS rule. The same day, EPA urges the D.C. Circuit to delay oral argument and suspend the litigation.

March 30, 2017 The Court suspends oral argument, scheduled for April 17, 2017.

April 4, 2017 EPA publishes its intent to review the rule.

April 28, 2017 The D.C. Circuit puts the litigation on hold for 60 days and orders EPA to file 30-day status reports.

Aug. 10, 2017 The D.C. Circuit suspends litigation indefinitely and orders EPA to file 90-day status reports beginning Oct. 27, 2017.

July 25, 2018 EPA submits its fourth 90-day status report with the D.C. Circuit. The report states that EPA plans to send a proposed 111(b) package to OMB in August. This is the final step before it can be published.

Oct. 23, 2018 EPA files another 90-day status update with the D.C. Circuit on its progress in preparing a proposed rule revision. EPA indicates that it submitted a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review on Sep. 7, 2018. EPA said it expects the interagency review will be completed in time to publish the rule in the Federal Register in December 2018.

Dec. 6, 2018 EPA releases proposed revisions to the Oct. 23, 2015 GHG New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants. The proposal changes the EPA determination of what is the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for newly constructed coal-fired units. It replaces partial carbon capture and storage with steam cycle in combination with operating practices as BSER.

Dec. 20, 2019 EPA publishes its proposed revised GHG New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants released on Dec. 6 in the Federal Register.

Feb. 7, 2019 EPA extends the public comment period to March 18, 2019 and notes a public hearing is scheduled in DC for Feb. 14, 2019. Comments may be submitted on the proposal here.

For More Information

See Save EPA’s Protecting Strong Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants.