On October 23, 2015, EPA published the long-awaited Clean Power Plan in the Federal Register.  The published rules include the Existing Source Performance Standards and the New, Modified, and Reconstructed Source Performance Standards.  In those rules, EPA established carbon dioxide (CO2) emission performance rates representing the Best System of Emission Reduction (BSER) for existing, modified, and new fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines, set state-specific CO2 goals reflecting the CO2 emission performance rates; and established guidelines for developing state implementation plans.  These rules will become effective December 22, 2015.

State implementation plans are due by September 6, 2016, unless the state receives an extension.  State’s may obtain an extension up to September 6, 2018,.  If requesting an extension, states must submit a progress report by September 6, 2017.

Stakeholders note and EPA concedes that the final rules have changed dramatically from the proposal.  As foreshadowed by pre-publication lawsuits, we are likely to see requests for a stay and a number of procedural and substantive challenges.  The final rules are viewable and downloadable, and our August 4, 2015 blog post provides additional detail on the CPP.

EPA also proposed a federal plan to implement the greenhouse gas emission guidelines, including Model Trading Rules, on October 23, 2015.  These proposed rules are viewable.  EPA will impose a federal implementation plan incorporating a trading program on  states that refuse or fail to submit a state implementation plan.  EPA is accepting comments on the proposed Federal Plan, including the Model Trading Rules, through January 21, 2016.