Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR)
On July 6, 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule requiring 28 eastern states to reduce power plant emissions that contribute to pollution from ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in other states. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 8, 2011 (76 FR 48208, PDF) . The rule is intended to help eastern states meet Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) obligations regarding interstate transport of air pollution for the 1997 ozone and PM2.5 and 2006 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The rule requires reductions in ozone season nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that cross state lines for states under the ozone requirements, and reductions in annual sulfur dioxide (SO2) and NOx for states under the PM2.5 requirements. To assure emissions reductions, the EPA promulgated federal implementation plans (FIPs) for each of the states covered by the rule. The final rule was intended to replace the EPA’s Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR).
Texas was included in the CSAPR FIP for the ozone and PM2.5 trading programs, though was initially proposed only for inclusion in the ozone trading program. To see unit-level allocations for electric generating units in Texas, please visit the EPA’s allocation table (PDF) .
Latest CSAPR Actions
On August 21, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated CSAPR and ordered the EPA to continue to administer CAIR while it works on a replacement transport rule. The Court determined that CSAPR exceeds the EPA’s statutory authority in two independent respects. First, the statute grants EPA authority to require upwind states to reduce only their own significant contributions to a downwind state’s nonattainment. However, under CSAPR, the EPA imposed massive emissions reduction requirements on upwind states without regard to the limits imposed by the statute.
Second, the FCAA allows states the initial opportunity to implement reductions required by the EPA. In the case of CSAPR, the EPA quantified states’ obligations and did not allow the states the initial opportunity to implement the required reductions with respect to sources within their borders. Instead, the EPA quantified states’ obligations and simultaneously set forth FIPs to implement those obligations at the state level.
The EPA and various environmental groups petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to review the D.C. Circuit Court's decision on CSAPR. On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court granted the petitions and heard oral arguments in the case on December 10, 2013. On April 29, 2014, a decision by the Supreme Court reversed the D.C. Circuit and remanded the case. The case is currently back before the D.C. Circuit, which has not yet issued instructions for actions. At this time, CAIR still remains in place. In the meantime, the EPA is seeking input from states on the next steps to address interstate transport for current and future NAAQS.