Winston & Strawn and Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a leading global provider of environmental, health and safety, risk, and social consulting services, hosted “The Future of Electric Generating Units Under the EPA’s New NSR Rules, Cross-State Air Pollution Rules, and New Clean Air Act Regulations” at Winston & Strawn’s Houston office on February 23.
Given the central role of electric power in the nation’s economy and the importance of coal in power production, serious concerns have been raised about the cost and potential impact of regulations under development that would impose new requirements on coal fired power plants. Indeed, the House of Representatives is so concerned that it recently passed the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act of 2011 (H.R. 2401), which would delay for more thoughtful consideration several key elements of EPA’s ongoing effort to regulate the electric power industry (and some would say to prescribe U.S. Energy Policy). This collection of new Clean Air Act regulations includes the GHG Tailoring, revisions to NSR permitting and the recently finalized Cross-State Air Pollution Rule regulating air toxics. All together, these rules have been characterized by critics as a regulatory train wreck that would impose excessive costs and lead to plant retirements that could threaten the reliability of electric capacity across the country and many utilities are unsure about the implementation and the legal challenges that exist.
This practical and interactive seminar series reviewed these rules and their impact on the industry. Presentations focused on:
- The impact of new regulations (including EGU MACT) on coal-fired power plants
- How to perform actual to projected actual analyses under the GHG tailoring rule
- NSR analyses of EGU projects
- CSAPR: implementation challenges and legal challenges
- EPA’s new short term PM 2.5 and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards
- The political ramifications of the TRAIN Act
Winston & Strawn partners Jay Holloway and Liz Williamson, together with partners Ken Weiss, Peter Belmonte, and George Holder from Environmental Resources Management presented at the seminar.
To learn more about the seminar click here.