In the Toolkit --

Introduction

  • Guide to the Toolkit
  • Leagues in Action
  • I. Choosing a Role for Your League

    II. Grassroots Action Priorities

  • Climate Action
  • Price on Carbon
  • Our Children's Trust
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Renewable Energy
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • III. Basics of Climate Change

    IV. Engaging Individuals

  • Communicating About Climate Change
  • Preparing for a Meeting on Climate Change
  • Engaging Groups in Your Community
  • V. Promoting Public Policy

  • Community Action Models
  • Organizing For Community Action
  • Tips for Building Grassroots Support
  • League Action on Climate Change
  • International Action
  • VI. Resources

    EPA Regulation of Large Stationary Sources

    Once EPA finalized emissions standards for light-duty motor vehicles -- May 2010 -- the agency began developing regulations for major stationary sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    Permitting programs. In the first phase, EPA issued rules incorporating GHGs into the New Source Review (NSR) permitting process. The rules require new and substantially modified power plants, refineries, factories, and other large sources of emissions to show that they make use of the best available control technology (BACT) to minimize their GHG emissions. 

    EPA has taken steps to ensure that the new permitting rules do not affect small stationary sources, such as small businesses and farms, schools, or churches. CAA permitting requirements apply to facilities that emit more than 100-250 tons/year of a regulated pollutant such as lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Because GHGs are emitted in much higher volumes than these non-GHG pollutants, EPA has issued a "tailoring rule" that raises the threshold for GHG emissions so that only the largest sources will be subject to the permitting requirements. The thresholds for GHG emissions are 75,000-100,000 tons/year.

    Performance standards. EPA has now proposed a carbon pollution standard for new power plants. Announced in September 2013, the rule would cap emissions from new large natural gas-fired turbines at 1,000 pounds of CO2/MWh (megawatt hour) of electricity generated and cap emissions from new small turbines at 1,100 lb CO2/MWh. The emissions limit for new coal-fired units would be 1,100 lb CO2/MWh. This would effectively prohibit construction of conventional coal-fired plants, which typically emit more than 1,700 lb CO2/MWh. EPA will accept written comments on the proposed standard for 60 days after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register. EPA is expected to finalize the rule within a year.

    EPA has also announced its intention to establish guidelines for states to use to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. These standards are expected to be less stringent than the standards that EPA has proposed for new power plants. The agency expects to issue a proposed rule by June 2014.

    Under a 2010 court settlement, EPA has also agreed to set standards for petroleum refineries by 2012, but the agency has missed several deadlines and has not publicly committed to a timeline for issuing draft rules for comment.

    New EPA rules for non-GHG emissions.

    Additional Information in the Toolkit

    Last updated: 8/7/2015