EPA proposes new carbon pollution standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants to tackle climate crisis and protect public health


New proposed standards for coal and new natural gas-fired power plants would eliminate more than 600 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution and prevent 300,000 asthma attacks and 1,300 premature deaths by 2030 alone.

Washington – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new carbon pollution standards for coal and natural gas power plants that will protect public health, reduce harmful chemicals and deliver up to $85 billion in climate and public health benefits over the next two years. Decades.

Coal and new natural gas power plants will remove up to 617 million metric tons of total carbon dioxide (CO).2In the year That’s equivalent to reducing the annual emissions of 137 million passenger vehicles by 2042, about half of the cars in the United States. In the year By 2042, the EPA estimates the net climate and health benefits of new gas-fired and existing coal-fired power plants to be up to $85 billion.

The proposals would cut tens of thousands of tonnes of particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which threaten people’s health, particularly in communities that have long shouldered the disproportionate burden. The burden of high pollution and environmental injustice. By 2030 only, the proposed standards would prohibit:

  • approximately 1,300 premature deaths;
  • more than 800 hospital and emergency room visits;
  • more than 300,000 asthma attacks;
  • 38,000 days of school absence;
  • 66,000 lost work days.

“By proposing new standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants, EPA is fulfilling its mission to reduce harmful pollutants that harm people’s health and safety. EPA Administrator Michael S. Reagan said. “EPA’s proposal relies on proven and readily available technologies to limit carbon pollution and builds on the momentum already underway in the energy sector to move toward a cleaner future. Alongside historic investments in clean energy production and deployment across America, these proposals will help deliver significant benefits for the American people – cutting climate pollution and other harmful chemicals, protecting people’s health, and fueling American innovation.

Consistent with EPA’s traditional approach to establishing pollution standards under the Clean Air Act, the proposed limits and guidelines seek to significantly reduce carbon pollution based on proven and cost-effective control technologies that can be applied directly to power plants.. They also provide electricity plant owners and operators with sufficient lead time and high compliance flexibility, power companies and grid operators to make sound long-term planning and investment decisions, and support the power sector to continue to provide reliable and affordable electricity. The EPA’s analysis found that electric companies could implement the standards with a negligible impact on electricity prices within a range of historical fluctuations.

Along with other recent EPA actions to address health-damaging pollution from the power sector, today’s proposed rule demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to reducing pollution from the power sector while maintaining long-term regulatory certainty and operational efficiency. In addition, the EPA and the Department of Energy recently a Understanding communication To support grid reliability and resiliency at all levels as the agency strives to reduce pollution, protect public health, and deliver environmental and economic benefits to all.

President Biden’s policy agenda has kicked off clean energy and manufacturing growth across the country, and is showing further impetus for technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and clean hydrogen. Today, thanks to this development, the energy sector has a wide range of tools to deploy clean, affordable energy, take advantage of readily available advanced pollution reduction technologies, create and retain good-paying union jobs, and reduce energy costs. Families and businesses. EPA took this significant technological and economic development into account in developing the proposed rule, and anticipates that power companies will use these tools and trends when determining how best to meet proposed standards and emission guidelines.

EPA’s technology-based standards include:

  • Strengthening the current New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for newly constructed fossil fuel fired stationary combustion turbines (generally natural gas fired).
  • Establish emissions guidelines for states to limit carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired steam generator EGUs (including coal, oil, and natural gas-fired power plants).
  • Establishing emission guidelines for large and frequently used fossil fuel stationary combustion turbines (generally natural gas fired).

Based on a separate analysis, EPA is proposing standards for existing gas-fired power plants, and the third phase of the NSPS could achieve up to 407 million metric tons of carbon emission reductions. As EPA works to finalize the rulemaking, the agency will complete more advanced modeling, aligning methodologies with the rulemaking and considering real-world situations in the energy sector to better understand how the rule’s components will interact.

As required by Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, these proposed standards and emission guidelines reflect the best available emission reduction system (BSER) found to improve emissions performance, taking into account costs, energy needs, and more. Reasons. In developing these proposed carbon emission standards, EPA considered a variety of technologies, including CCS, using low-GHG hydrogen, and more efficient generation technologies.

Installing controls such as CCS for coal and gas plants and low-GHG hydrogen co-firing for gas plants are more cost-effective for larger capacity, more frequent or longer-running power plants. The proposed standards and guidelines take this into account for different power generation standards based on unit characteristics such as their capacity, target operating time and/or operating frequency.

The proposal requires states to meaningfully engage with affected stakeholders as they prepare to plan existing resources. President Biden’s Interagency Task Force on Coal and Power Communities and Economic Revitalization Named Historical resources Encourage energy communities to invest in infrastructure, deploy new technologies to help clean up the electricity sector, support energy workers and encourage long-term economic revitalization.

EPA also conducted an environmental justice analysis that shows these proposals play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping to avoid the worst effects of climate change, which disproportionately affects already underserved and burdened communities. It also follows the idea of ​​the EHP Instruction From the Environmental Protection Council to ensure that the development of carbon capture, utilization and conversion technologies is done in a responsible manner that incorporates community input and reflects the available science. Consistent with this guidance, EPA will engage with the community and stakeholders in opportunities to ensure that carbon capture and sequestration is conducted responsibly.

The proposed standards build on the ongoing momentum to move towards a cleaner future in the energy sector. Since 2005, the energy sector has It has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 36 percent Keeping pace with growing energy demand. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provides historic investments in pollution control technologies and clean energy, and together, the United States moves closer to ensuring a cleaner and healthier future for all communities.

EPA will have 60 days to comment on these proposals after they are published in the Federal Register. EPA also conducts virtual public hearings and makes additional information available on its website. Registration for the public hearing opens after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

The agency will host virtual training sessions to inform communities and tribes about the proposal and how to participate in the public comment process. Those trainings will be held June 6 and 7, and registration information is available on the EPA website.

For more information: Greenhouse Gas Standards and Guidelines for Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants

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