Posted on April 12, 2013 by David Flannery
The August 21, 2012 decision of the D.C. Circuit Court in EME Homer City Generation LP v. EPA, Case No. 11-1302, not only vacated the
Let me begin by noting that on March 29, 2013, EPA and various environmental organizations filed for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. Even as EPA was filing for such a writ, EPA has scheduled two meetings this month with states to obtain input on technical and policy decisions. In these meetings, EPA is offering its interpretation of the court decision and its views about various options that exist for conducting the required analyses through the shared responsibility of EPA and the states.
Finally, the Midwest Ozone Group (MOG), a coalition of electric power generation interests, has developed a position statement on how the court opinion might be implemented including the identification of the following seven rules taken from the court opinion.
1. Basic rule – An upwind State’s obligation is limited to its own significant contribution and it cannot be directed to reduce emissions to account for any other factors impacting a downwind State’s nonattainment.
2. Proportionality of Downwind States – A downwind State is responsible for above-NAAQS amounts that are not attributable to significant contributions from upwind States.
3. Proportionality of Upwind States – The ratio of an individual upwind State contribution to the total contribution of all upwind States should be used as
4. The Role of Costs – EPA may reduce some or all of the obligations of upwind States to avoid the imposition of unreasonable costs.
5. Insignificance – Once contributions are determined, a State is not required to address more than that contribution amount minus the significance threshold.
6. NAAQS Attainment – Once an area meets the NAAQS, no additional upwind emission reductions are required.
7. Over-Control – When multiple downwind areas are concerned, reductions associated with one downwind area should be reviewed in other areas to ensure unnecessary over control is not achieved
The full position statement can be found here.
The MOG position statement is accompanied by a presentation prepared by Alpine Geophysics which applies an example set of modeling data to these rules to illustrate how the rules might be applied as well as the significant technical and policy questions that remain. The Alpine Geophysics presentation can be found here.