EPA has formally proposed restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants, which include a requirement that new fossil fuel-fired plants implement partial carbon capture and sequestration.  EPA published the proposal in the Federal Register on January 8, 2014.  79 Fed. Reg. 1,430 (Jan. 8, 2014).  Comments on the proposal are due by March 10, 2014, and EPA will hold a full-day hearing on the proposed rules on January 28, 2014.  EPA had released these rules informally in September 2013, but the publication in the Federal Register triggers the formal notice and comment procedure.

EPA’s proposal and regulatory preamble are identical to EPA’s September 2013 proposal.  The proposed rules would apply to new power plants on which construction commenced after January 8, 2014.  Fossil fuel-fired electric steam generating units would be limited to emissions of 1,100 lbs CO2/MWh, as would smaller natural gas turbines.  Larger natural gas turbine units would have an emissions limit of 1,000 lbs CO2/MWh.  Notably, to meet the 1,110 lbs CO2/MWh standard, fossil fuel-fired units would need to implement partial carbon capture and storage (CCS) (an issue discussed in a previous post); larger natural gas turbine units would not need to implement CCS to meet the 1,000 lbs CO2/MWh standard.

This proposal does not apply to existing power plants.  EPA plans to release a separate proposal for existing power plants by June 1, 2014.