EPA updates emission standards for new coal, oil power plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to update emission limits for new power plants under the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

The new proposed standards affect only new coal“ and oil”fired power plants that will be built in the future. The proposal, issued November 16, does not change the final emission limits for existing power plants.

The EPA says it has reconsidered the new source limits for MATS based on new information and analysis that became available to the agency after the rule was finalized. The proposed updates are calculated from data about the emissions rates achieved by the best performing source for each of the air toxics or surrogates.

EPA says it projects that the proposed updates will result in no significant change in costs, emission reductions or health benefits from MATS.

EPA is also proposing to revise and clarify requirements that apply during periods of startup and shutdown in MATS and startup and shutdown for particulate matter in the Utility New Source Performance Standards, and is proposing other minor technical corrections.

EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and if a public hearing is requested, EPA plans to hold one on December 18, 2012, in Washington, DC. EPA will issue a final reconsideration in March of 2013.

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