EPA approves state petitions for tighter upwind NOx limits

The US EPA has agreed with claims from four US states that more stringent nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission limits are required for power stations in 12 'upwind' states if the petitioning states are to meet EPA limits for the pollutant.

EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner approved petitions from Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania calling for reductions of the levels of NOx emitted from large power stations and industrial sources at 392 facilities in 12 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The Clean Air Act gives each state the authority to ask EPA to set emissions limits for specific sources of pollution in other states sthat significantly contribute to the petitioning states’ air quality problems.

The approval of the petitions entails emission reduction requirements for large electric utilities and industrial boilers and turbines in the following states: Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

In addition, EPA will set up a trading programme to help facilities meet their required reductions. These facilities must implement controls to achieve their required emission reductions by May 1, 2003.

Petitions are also pending from the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. EPA has said it will act on these petitions in the near future. However, the majority of out-of-state sources targeted by these states are addressed in the petitions already approved.

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