EPA Set to Issue Tough Air Pollution Rules

Power plants and factories will both face higher costs.

The Environmental Protection Agency will roll out two strict air pollution rules in the coming months, encompassing factories as well as utilities. The first, a Clean Air Interstate Rule, will impose tighter caps on emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. The latter, a Clean Air Mercury Rule, will require plants to install cutting-edge pollution control technology. Both replace regulations set by President Bush’s EPA and subsequently overturned by court rulings.

EPA will likely propose the interstate rule in the spring and finalize it by year-end. This regulation will apply tighter, nationwide caps on emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide from all stationary sources, rather than focusing on power plants in the eastern U.S., as in the previous version. In addition, the caps will apply year-round rather than only during the peak smog period of May through September.

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Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter