Clean Power Plan published in Federal Register

By Anna Simet | October 23, 2015

The U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 23.

The rules of the CPP, which were initially proposed in June 2014, require existing power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and calls on each state to craft its own plan based on policy and resources of its choosing.

The final rules were released in early August following an extended comment period, and contained several key changes from the proposed rules.

Biomass stakeholders believe the CPP is a positive development for biomass facilities that came online after Jan. 1, and contains little downside for plants that are older.

In an Oct. 23 blog authored by Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, McCabe said EPA considered over 4.3 million comments received in response to its initial proposal, and took into account feedback from utilities to ensure the plan mirrors how electricity moves around the grid and allows the opening up of opportunities. “It was input from states that made sure we set fair and consistent standards across the country,” she wrote. “And it was comments from many folks that told us that we needed to extend the timeframe for mandatory cuts by two years, until 2022. States and utilities told us they needed more time, and we listened.”

McCabe described the final rules as “fair, flexible, affordable, and designed to reflect the fast-growing trend toward cleaner American energy,” and said the standards are “strong but achievable.”

In response to the CPP, many lawsuits were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia on Oct. 23, including a coalition of 24 states. The EPA has said the rules are legal and believes it will withstand challenges.