On Monday August 3rd, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final rule for regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel power plants. When the rule is fully implemented in 2030, it is expected to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 32% below the 2005 level.
This is a greater reduction than the 30% anticipated under the proposed rule. Iowa’s reduction target did become slightly more stringent, moving to 1283 pounds per MWh from 1301 pounds per MWh. However, EPA did address some of the concerns raised by IAMU and many others in comments on the proposed rule. Some of the key changes in the final rule include:
- The compliance timeline has been postponed from 2020 to 2022. In addition the EPA instituted a glide path that allows for more gradual emission reduction between 2022 and 2030.
- The energy efficiency building block was removed from the calculation of emission reduction targets. However because energy efficiency is one of the lowest cost measures for reducing emissions, EPA expects it to be incorporated into many state compliance plans.States will have additional time to develop compliance plans. States must submit an initial filing by the fall of 2016, but may be granted a two year extension to submit their final compliance plan.
- The EPA has proposed a model to allow interstate trading of allowances without the need for multistate compliance plans.
- A reliability safety valve has been added to allow plants to run for reliability reasons without emissions counting against them.
The Clean Power Plan is one of the most significant environmental regulations to impact the electric utility industry. It is expected to significantly alter the electric generating fleet of the nation. IAMU is just beginning to evaluate the final rule and how it will impact Iowa’s municipal utilities. Iowa’s municipal utilities are committed to providing environmentally responsible, reliable and affordable electricity.
The Iowa DNR has already scheduled a stakeholder meeting on September 9 at the DNR Air Quality Bureau in Windsor Heights, Iowa. Information about this meeting will be posted on the DNR’s website... CLICK HERE.
Links to the final rule, technical support documents, and fact sheets are available on the EPA’s website:...CLICK HERE
Additional information is available from the American Public Power Association...CLICK HERE