Monthly Archives: September 2016

Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Affecting Power Plants Finalized

On September 7, 2016, the USEPA finalized an update to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) by issuing a final CSAPR Update. See The final rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register.

CSAPR was designed to address facilities that cause significant pollution that travels long distances impacting people in other states. States in which these facilities operate have not been motivated to regulate their emissions as it does not affect the health of their citizens. This federal rule achieves this. USEPA estimates that the rule will reduce summer (May – September) emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power plants in 22 states, result in benefits totaling up to $880 million, and reduce ground-level ozone exposure for millions so people, reducing rates of asthma, cancer, and other diseases.

Beginning in May 2017, the new rule will affect 2,875 electric generating units at 886 coal, gas and oil power plants. The USEPA says affected power plants can achieve the required NOx emissions reductions using existing, cost-effective technology.

Under CSAPR, each of the 22 states hosting an affected electric generating unit must develop state implementation plans meeting minimum NOx emission requirements under the supervision of the USEPA which could issue a federal implementation plan for each state that fails to submit an approvable plan.

The power industry has come out against CSAPR since its inception, suing the USEPA. The US Supreme Court upheld the CSAPR in 2014. However, the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit in July 2015 remanded parts of CSAPR to the USEPA for updating, and this is the final update. This update is based on downwind areas meeting the 2008 ozone NAAQS of 75 parts per billion, and not the subsequently updated standard of 70 ppb. The power industry is still not happy with the updated version and a legal challenge to CSAPR is likely.

CCES has the technical experts to help your company implement the technical requirements to comply with a variety of environmental and air quality rules. Our engineers can perform an emissions inventory and determine from a technical point of view how to maintain compliance or get in compliance with federal and state air rules. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at

Fuel Economy Standards Tightened For Heavy, Medium-Duty Trucks – Phase 2

The USEPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly issued a final rule with new fuel economy standards for heavy to medium trucks which had kept its fuel economy standards virtually unchanged for many years. While the USEPA had made more rigorous fuel economy standards for passenger cars (Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFÉ) and light-duty trucks, medium- and heavy-duty trucks have escaped such tightening of standards for a few decades. Phase 1 standards were issued beginning with model year 2014 heavy-duty trucks. The new Phase 2 standards ( will be phased in through 2027. The final rule’s impact is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from such trucks by about 10% or about 1 billion tons over the lives of the regulated vehicles, as well as save about 75 billion gallons of (mainly) diesel oil and 25% more fuel efficient.

The new rule covers vehicles, such as big rigs, passenger vans, truck trailers, school and passenger buses, and dump trucks. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles currently account for approximately 25% of GHG emissions in the US transportation sector.

Phase 2 will provide significant GHG emission reductions and save fuel by:

• Accounting for ongoing technological advancements. Truck owners will be required to procure trucks containing certain fuel and emission reduction technology. While more expensive, the payback is estimated at about 2 years for tractors and trailers and about 3 years for heavy-duty pickups and vans.

• Containing first-time standards for trailers. Phase 2 standards include fuel efficiency and GHG emission standards for trailers used in combination with tractors. Although standards will not be finalized for all trailer types, the majority will be covered.

• Encouraging innovation while providing flexibility for manufacturers. For each category of trucks, performance targets will be set that allow manufacturers to achieve reductions through a mix of different technologies (such as any combination of advanced aerodynamics, engine improvements, waste heat recovery, etc.). Manufacturers will be free to choose any means of compliance.

CCES has the air quality experts to help your firm understand and provide the technical expertise to comply with a variety of air regulations. We can perform a complete emissions inventory of your facility and technical evaluation of compliance with federal and state air rules. Contact us today at 914-584-6720 or at

USEPA Proposes Clean Energy Incentive Program

On June 30, 2016, the USEPA published a proposed rule laying out its Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), found in the Federal Register, Vol. 81, No. 126. CEIP is a voluntary early action program within the federal Clean Power Plan of 2015 (CPP), regulating CO2 emissions from existing power plants. To provide greater compliance flexibility, including having a pool of allowances for subject power plants to buy to comply, the USEPA would like to have this available when CPP goes into effect in 2022.

Implementation of CPP has been hobbled by a stay put on it by the US Supreme Court in February 2016. While some have argued that all compliance deadlines must be postponed because of the stay, the USEPA is continuing efforts for full implementation of all aspects of the Plan, including the proposed CEIP program.

The publication contains proposed guidelines for states that wish to participate in CEIP, including procedures for states to distribute allowances or to issue emission reduction credits (ERCs) for approved energy efficiency (in low-income communities) and zero-emitting renewable energy projects (in all communities). The proposed rule lists solar, geothermal, hydro, and wind as eligible renewable projects; it does call for comments on whether it should expand the definition to include CHP and nuclear. An entity which has successfully implemented an approved project by 2020 may get matching ERCs from the USEPA and can sell or transfer the ERCs or allowances to subject power plants to comply with their CO2 emission reduction goals from CPP. The USEPA is limiting the pool to 300 million short tons of CO2 emission allowances to distribute, based on its estimation that this will be the level that subject power plants will reduce CO2 emissions as part of CPP. These allowances will be distributed to states based on its share of the estimated reduction.

The proposed rule contains administrative requirements for states that choose to participate in the CEIP and the requirements for energy projects to meet CEIP eligibility. In general, a renewable energy project will receive 2 ERCs for every 2 MWh of renewable power generated. This ratio doubles for projects in low-income communities. For a project to be eligible to obtain ERCs, it must be implemented in a state that is participating in CEIP, and has demonstrated that it is replacing electricity production from a subject power plant in 2020 and 2021.

CCES has the technical experts to help you plan, design, select, and fully implement an energy efficiency or renewable energy project and help you obtain ERCs under this program, when it comes into force. We can maximize not only the revenue you can make selling ERCs under this program, but also maximize the financial benefits of your projects for your bottom line, as well. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation discussion at or at 914-584-6720.