New Regulations for Electric Utilities Expected

Article excerpt

To implement the goals of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue a number of new rules in the next two years to govern operations of electric utilities. These will significantly affect their operations and, consequently, electricity prices for the rest of the economy.

EPA has agreed to court-ordered deadlines to propose and finalize three rules:

* Air toxics emission standards for electricity generating units (EGUs) under Clean Air Act section 112,

* Greenhouse gas emission standards for EGUs under section 111 of the Clean Air Act, and

* New requirements for cooling water intake structures under section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act.

These are in addition to the Air Transport rule, proposed in July 2010, which would impose new emission standards on power plants in 3 1 states and the District of Columbia. Although not under a court-ordered deadline, EPA's proposed rule on coal combustion residuals (coal ash) would also raise costs for coal-fired EGUs if finalized. …