On June 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its long-awaited proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for existing power plants. [1]  A cornerstone of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the rule will require existing power plants to reduce GHG emissions to a level 30 percent below 2005 levels and achieve those reductions by 2030.  EPA plans to issue emission reduction targets for each state, not for individual facilities.  States must then develop and submit implementation plans to EPA.   Timeline:

  • July 2014 – Public hearings, and suggested deadline for comments on information collection plan.  
  • Late summer 2014 – Deadline for filing comments on the proposed rule (120 days after publication in the Federal Register).  
  • June 2015 – EPA to issue final rule.  
  • One to three years later – Deadline for states to submit implementation.

Opportunities for stakeholders to air their viewpoints abound, starting with EPA’s public hearings and the open comment period.  Certainly, while states are preparing implementation plans, judicial review of EPA’s final rule almost undoubtedly will also be taking place.  Stakeholders should understand sooner rather than later the approach their state(s) aim to use for implementation of the standard and engage in the regulatory process on the state level.