The E.P.A. Announces a New Rule on Polluters

Sindya N. Bhanoo
The New York Times

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a final rule on Thursday for regulating major emitters of greenhouse gases, like coal-fired power plants, under the Clean Air Act.

Starting in July 2011, new sources of at least 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year and any existing plants that increase emissions by 75,000 tons will have to seek permits, the agency said.

In the first two years, the E.P.A. expects the rule to affect about 15,550 sources, including coal-fired plants, refineries, cement manufacturers, solid waste landfills and other large polluters, said Gina McCarthy, the agency’s assistant administrator.

She said the rule would apply to sites accounting for about 70 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. “We think this is smart rule-making, and we think it’s good government,” she said.

Last fall the E.P.A. had indicated that the bar would be set at 25,000 tons a year, which would have imposed the permit requirement on smaller entities like family farms and large apartment buildings. “What we realized at the 25,000 level was that we were going to be actually reaching sources that we did not intend to reach,” Ms. McCarthy said.

The announcement came a day after a climate and energy bill was introduced in the Senate, one that would effectively shift regulatory power over greenhouse gases to Congress from the E.P.A…

…Next year the E.P.A. is to begin another rule-making process to phase in more permits and determine whether some smaller sources of emissions can permanently be excluded from the process.

The entire article is at the New York Times.

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