EPA promulgates important new mercury and air toxics rule

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently promulgated a significant and far-reaching new air toxics rule that will broadly impact coal- and oil-fired utilities. The mercury and air toxics standard (MATS) rule applies to electric utility steam generating units (EGUs) at such utilities, and sets strict new limits on EGU emissions. EPA estimates that approximately 1,400 units at 600 plants are affected by the new rule, which aims to reduce emissions of mercury, other metals, and acid gases from these units. Importantly, units considered critical for electric reliability purposes may be able to obtain additional time for compliance with the new rule pursuant to EPA’s enforcement response policy; forward planning for this and other compliance options is essential.

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