TIMELINE: Key dates for EPA’s carbon pollution standards

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on its regulations for carbon dioxide pollution from power plants. These proposed rules have taken the form of the Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants and the Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants.

These EPA policies are designed to require states to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector 30 percent by 2030.

A final rule was due by law on January 8, 2015, a year after it was first proposed. But the Environmental Protection Agency said it would wait until midsummer, and issue the new power plant rules with a separate regulation aimed at cutting carbon dioxide from the existing coal-fired power fleet.

Several industry groups and power utilities, during the public comment period, said EPA’s proposed timeline does not allow adequate time for the needed reliability assessments and system changes to be done by 2020, by which time many states would need to have accomplished significant emission reductions. (read more about that here)

The following list provides key dates from EPA’s proposals and planned dates for proposing and finalizing Clean Air Act standards and actions to address carbon pollution from existing, new, modified and reconstructed power plants:

Previous Milestones

Carbon Pollution Standards for new power plants

Clean Air Act Section 111(b)

·      September 20, 2013 — EPA announces proposed standards to limit carbon pollution from new power plants.

·      January 8, 2014 — Proposal publishes in Federal Register and 60-day comment period begins.

·      February 5, 2014 — EPA issues Notice of Data Availability.

·      February 26, 2014 — EPA extends comment period by 60 days.

·      May 9, 2014 — 120-day comment period closes. EPA receives roughly 2 million comments.

Clean Power Plan for existing power plants

Clean Air Act Section 111(d)

·      June 2, 2014 — EPA announces proposed Clean Power Plan to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants in States.

·      June 18, 2014 — Proposal publishes in Federal Register and 120-day public comment period begins.

·      September 18, 2014 — EPA extends comment period by 45 days

·      October 28, 2014 — EPA issues Notice of Data Availability.

·      December 1, 2014 — 165-day comment period ends. EPA receives more than 2 million public comments.

Clean Power Plan for existing power plants – supplemental proposal

Clean Air Act Section 111(d)

·      October 28, 2014 — EPA announces proposed Clean Power Plan to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants in Indian Country and U.S. Territories.

·      November 4, 2014 — Supplemental proposal publishes in Federal Register and 45-day public comment period begins.

·      December 19, 2014 — Comment period closes.

Carbon Pollution Standards for modified and reconstructed power plants

Clean Air Act Section 111(b)

·      June 2, 2014 — EPA announces proposed standards to limit carbon pollution from modified and reconstructed power plants.

·      June 18, 2014 — Proposal publishes in Federal Register and 120-day public comment period begins.

·      October 16, 2014 — 120-day comment period closes. EPA receives about 235 public comments.

Upcoming Milestones

January 2015

·      EPA to begin the regulatory process for proposing a federal plan to meet goals for cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants.

Summer 2015

EPA to issue final rules on:

·      Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants in States, Indian Country and U.S. Territories.

·      Carbon Pollution Standards for New, Modified and Reconstructed Power Plants.

·      EPA plans to propose a federal plan for meeting Clean Power Plan goals for public review and comment.

Summer 2016

·      Proposed due date for states to submit compliance plans to EPA – these can be complete plans or initial plans with requests for 1- or 2-year extensions.

·      EPA will be in a position to issue a final federal plan for meeting Clean Power Plan goals in areas that do not submit plans.

Summer 2017

·      Proposed due date for compliance plans with 1-year extension.

Summer 2018

·      Proposed due date for multi-state compliance plans with 2-year extension.

Summer 2020

·      Proposed beginning of the Clean Power Plan compliance period.

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