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Clear Skies

Clear Skies in Ohio

Information provided for informational purposes onlyNote: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Unless otherwise noted, the data presented throughout this Web site reflect EPA’s 2003 modeling and analysis of the Clear Skies Act of 2003. Clear Skies legislation was intended to create a mandatory program that would dramatically reduce power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury by setting a national cap on each pollutant. The Clear Skies bill was proposed in response to a growing need for an emission reduction plan that will protect human health and the environment while providing regulatory certainty to the industry. The proposed legislation for air regulation never moved out of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee in 2005 and was therefore never enacted.
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Highlights of Clear Skies in Ohio

Ohio
  • Ohio sources would reduce emissions of SO2 by 77%, NOx by 67%, and mercury by 66% by 2020 due to Clear Skies.
  • The health benefits in Ohio would total $7.9 billion ($1.5 billion under the alternative estimate) and include approximately 1,000 fewer premature deaths (600 under the alternative estimate) and 2,300 fewer hospitalizations/emergency room visits each year.
  • In addition, Ohio would receive environmental benefits, including reduced acid and mercury deposition.
  • Clear Skies does not significantly impact electricity prices. With or without Clear Skies, electricity prices in the electricity supply region that includes Ohio are expected to remain below 2000 prices.

Clear Skies: An Innovative Approach to Improving Human Health and the Environment

Why Clear Skies?

  • Air quality has improved, but serious concerns persist
    • Ohio's citizens suffer ill effects from air pollution, including asthma attacks and premature death
  • Electricity generation sector remains a major emissions source
    • Very cost-effective to control the power sector, relative to other sources
    • Sources are concerned about upcoming complex and burdensome regulations

Advantages of the Clear Skies Approach

  • Guarantees significant nationwide emissions reductions -- beginning years before full implementation
    • Ohio sources would substantially reduce emissions of SO2 , NOx , and mercury
    • Delivers dramatic progress towards achievement of critical health and environmental goals
  • Uses proven, market-based flexible approach with incentives for innovation
    • Recognizes environmental needs as well as industry constraints, allowing industry to better manage its operations and finances while lowering risks to the public
    • Sources are projected to install pollution controls to enable continued reliance on coal
  • Increases certainty across the board for industry, regulators, and consumers

Under Current Clean Air Act Power Plants Would Face a Complex Set of Requirements

Under Current Clean Air Act Power Plants Would Face a Complex Set of Requirements

For a larger image, click here.

Clear Skies Sets a Firm Timeline for Emission Reductions

The existing Title IV SO2 cap-and-trade program provides an incentive and a mechanism to begin reductions upon enactment of Clear Skies years before regulatory action under the current Act.

2004: The NOx SIP call (summertime NOx cap in 19 Eastern States + D.C.)

2008: Clear Skies NOx Phase I (2.1 million ton annual cap assigned to two Zones with trading programs)

2010:

  • Clear Skies Hg Phase I (26 ton annual cap with a national trading program)
  • SO2 Phase I (4.5 million ton annual cap with a national trading program)

2018:

  • Clear Skies NOx Phase II (1.7 million ton annual cap assigned to two Zones with trading programs)
  • Clear Skies Hg Phase II (15 ton annual cap with a national trading program)
  • Clear Skies SO2 Phase II (3.0 million ton annual cap with a national trading program)

Emissions in Ohio under Clear Skies

Emissions in Ohio (2020) would be significantly reduced from 2000 levels:

  • 82% reduction in SO2 emissions
  • 77% reduction in NOx emissions
  • 69% reduction in mercury emissions

Emissions: Current (2000) and Existing Clean Air Act Regulations (base case*) vs. Clear Skies in Ohio in 2010 and 2020
Emissions: Current (2000) and Existing Clean Air Act Regulations (base case*) vs. Clear Skies in Ohio in 2010 and 2020  -- SO2 and NOx

Emissions: Current (2000) and Existing Clean Air Act Regulations (base case*) vs. Clear Skies in Ohio in 2010 and 2020  -- Mercury

Note: The base case using IPM includes Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in CT, MA, MO, NC, NH, TX, and WI. It does not include mercury MACT in 2007 or any other potential future regulations to implement the current ambient air quality standards or other parts of the Clean Air Act. Base case emissions in 2020 will likely be lower due to state and federal regulatory actions that have not yet been promulgated.

SO2 and NOx Emissions Reductions under Clear Skies

Emissions in Ohio and surrounding states would decrease considerably. These emission reductions would make it much easier for Ohio to comply with the national air quality standards.

Emissions in Ohio and surrounding states would decrease considerably. These emission reductions would make it much easier for Ohio to comply with the national air quality standards.

Emissions in Ohio and surrounding states would decrease considerably. These emission reductions would make it much easier for Ohio to comply with the national air quality standards.

Note: The base case in IPM includes Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in CT, MA, MO, NC, NH, TX, and WI. It does not include mercury MACT in 2007 or any other potential future regulations to implement the current ambient air quality standards or other parts of the Clean Air Act. Base case emissions in 2020 will likely be lower due to state and federal regulatory actions that have not yet been promulgated. Emissions projected for new units in 2020 are not reflected.

Clear Skies Health Benefits in Ohio

By 2020, Ohio would receive approximately $7.9 billion in annual health benefits from reductions in fine particle and ozone concentrations alone
due to Clear Skies. (See note 1.)
  • Reduced ozone and fine particle exposure by 2020 would result in public health benefits of:
    • approximately 1,000 fewer premature deaths each year (See note 1.)
    • approximately 600 fewer cases of chronic bronchitis each year
    • approximately 1,700 fewer non-fatal heart attacks each year
    • approximately 2,300 fewer hospital and emergency room visits each year
    • approximately 110,000 fewer days workers are out sick due to respiratory symptoms each year
    • approximately 10,000 fewer school absences each year
  • Reduced mercury emissions would reduce exposure to mercury through consumption of contaminated fish, resulting in additional, unquantified benefits for those who eat fish from Ohio's lakes and streams.

Counties Projected to Remain Out of Attainment with the PM2.5 and Ozone Standards in Ohio

Counties Projected to Remain Out of Attainment with the PM2.5 and Ozone Standards in Ohio

Note: Based on 1999-2001 data of counties with monitors that have three years of complete data. The base case includes Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, the Tier II, Heavy-Duty Diesel, and Nonroad Diesel rules, final NSR settlements as of early spring 2003, and state-specific caps in CT, MA, MO, NC, NH, TX, and WI. It does not include mercury MACT or any other potential future regulations to implement the current ambient air quality standards or other parts of the Clean Air Act.

Clear Skies Would Help Ohio Meet Air Quality Standards

  • Currently there are 13 counties exceeding the annual fine particle standards and 24 counties exceeding the 8- hour ozone standard.

    • Many of these counties are expected to be brought into attainment with the fine particle standards under existing programs.
    • All of these counties are expected to be brought into attainment with the ozone standard under existing programs.
  • Clear Skies would significantly improve air quality in Ohio beyond what is expected from existing programs.
    • By 2010, Clear Skies would bring 5 non-attainment counties (Butler, Montgomery, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Summit -- population approximately 2 million) into attainment with the annual fine particle standards.
    • By 2020, Clear Skies would bring 4 additional counties (Stark, Franklin, Hamilton, and Scotio -- population approximately 2.4 million) into attainment with the annual fine particle standards.
  • In addition, Clear Skies would reduce ozone and fine particle concentrations in counties throughout the state and move the remaining 2 non-attainment counties in Ohio (Cuyahoga and Jefferson) closer to attainment.

Note: Based on 1999-2001 data of counties with monitors that have three years of complete data.

Clear Skies Environmental Benefits in Ohio

Projected Changes in Sulfur Deposition with the Base Case in 2020 Compared to 2001.

Projected Changes in Sulfur Deposition with Clear Skies and the Base Case in 2020 Compared to 2001

Clear Skies Would Provide Substantial Environmental Benefits to Ohio

In comparison to existing programs,

  • Visibility would improve perceptibly.
    • The value of this benefit for Ohio residents who visit America's National Parks and Wilderness Areas is $91 million.
  • Sulfur deposition, a primary cause of acid rain, would decrease 30-60% in eastern and central Ohio and 15-30% throughout the rest of the state.
  • Nitrogen deposition, another significant contributor to acid rain as well as a cause of damage in nitrogen-sensitive forests, would decrease 5-20%.
  • Mercury deposition would decrease up to 15% throughout most of Ohio and up to 30% along the Ohio River.*

* These results are based on modeling the Clear Skies mercury cap without triggering the safety valve.

Electricity Generation in Ohio under Clear Skies

Current and Projected Generation by Fuel Type in Ohio under Clear Skies (GWh)
Current and Projected Generation by Fuel Type in Ohio under Clear Skies (GWh)

Ohio's sources are projected to reduce their emissions through the installation of emission controls, rather than through a switch from coal to natural gas.
  • In 2010, 84% of Ohio's coal-fired generation is projected to come from units with advanced SO2 and/or NOx control equipment that also substantially reduce mercury emissions; in 2020, the percentage is projected to increase to 93%.
Ohio's electricity growth is projected to be met by increases in gas-fired and coal-fired generation. Clear Skies does not significantly alter this projection.
  • Electricity from coal-fired generation will increase by 28% from 1999 to 2020.

Current and Projected Coal Production for Electricity Generation

Emission Controls in Ohio under Clear Skies

Under Clear Skies by 2020...

  • 17% of coal-fired capacity would install SCR or SNCR
  • 59% would install scrubbers

 

The major generation companies in Ohio include:

  • First Energy Generation Corporation
  • Ohio Edison Company
  • Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company
  • Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company
  • Columbus Southern Power Company
  • Dayton Power & Light
  • DPL Energy

Total coal-fired capacity in Ohio is projected to be 21,382 MW in 2010.

 

Units in Ohio Projected to Be Retrofitted Due to Clear Skies by 2020
Plant Name
Unit ID
Technology
CARDINAL 1 Scrubber*
CARDINAL 2 Scrubber*
CARDINAL 3 Scrubber
CONESVILLE 1 SCR / Scrubber
CONESVILLE 2 SCR / Scrubber
CONESVILLE 3 SCR* / Scrubber*
CONESVILLE 4 SCR* / Scrubber*
EASTLAKE 1 SCR / Scrubber
EASTLAKE 2 SCR / Scrubber
EASTLAKE 4 SCR / Scrubber
EASTLAKE 5 Scrubber*
J M STUART 1 Scrubber*
J M STUART 2 Scrubber*
J M STUART 3 Scrubber*
J M STUART 4 Scrubber*
KYGER CREEK 1 Scrubber*
KYGER CREEK 2 Scrubber*
KYGER CREEK 3 Scrubber*
KYGER CREEK 4 Scrubber*
KYGER CREEK 5 Scrubber*
LAKE SHORE 18 Scrubber*
MIAMI FORT 6 Scrubber
MIAMI FORT 7 Scrubber*
MIAMI FORT 8 Scrubber
MUSKINGUM RIVER 5 Scrubber*
R E BURGER 7 SCR / Scrubber
R E BURGER 8 SCR / Scrubber
W H SAMMIS 1 Scrubber
W H SAMMIS 2 Scrubber
W H SAMMIS 3 Scrubber
W H SAMMIS 4 Scrubber
W H SAMMIS 5 Scrubber*
W H SAMMIS 6 Scrubber*
W H SAMMIS 7 Scrubber
WALTER C BECKJORD 5 SCR/Scrubber
WALTER C BECKJORD 6 SCR/Scrubber
ASHTABULA 7 SCR*
CONESVILLE 5 SCR*
CONESVILLE 6 SCR*
MIAMI FORT 5-1 SNCR
MIAMI FORT 5-2 SNCR
R E BURGER 5 SNCR
R E BURGER 6 SNCR
TORONTO 9 SNCR
* Retrofit was installed under Clear Skies by 2010
 
Notes:
1. Retrofits and total coal-fired capacity apply to coal units greater than 25 MW.

2. Hamilton unit 8, Niles unit 2, OH Hutchings units H1/H2,Orrville units 12-13, Picway unit 9, and Richard Gorsuch units 1 & 3 are projected to be removed from operation by 2005 with Clear Skies due to excess gas-fired capacity in the marketplace, unless otherwise needed for voltage purposes. The recent overbuild of gas-fired generation reduces the need for less efficient units operating at lower capacity factors. These units are inefficient compared to other coal-fired plants and newer gas-fired generation. Less conservative assumptions regarding natural gas prices or electricity demand would create a greater incentive to keep these units operational.

Electricity Prices in Ohio under Clear Skies

  • With or without Clear Skies, retail prices in the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) ECAR region (the electricity supply region that contains Ohio) are projected to increase between 2005 and 2020.
  • With Clear Skies, retail prices are projected to be approximately 2.4 – 6.4% higher between 2005 and 2020 than in the absence of the legislation.

NERC

Projected Retail Electricity Prices in Ohio under the Base Case and Clear Skies (2005-2020)

Projected National Retail Electricity Prices and Prices in Ohio under Clear Skies (2005-2020)

In 2000, the average retail electricity price in Ohio was approximately 6.5 cents/kWh, which was below the average national retail price of approximately 6.7 cents/kWh.

Note: The base case using IPM includes Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in CT, MA, MO, NC, NH, TX, and WI. It does not include mercury MACT in 2007 or any other potential future regulations to implement the current ambient air quality standards or other parts of the Clean Air Act. Base case emissions in 2020 will likely be lower due to state and federal regulatory actions that have not yet been promulgated.

Costs and Benefits in Ohio under Clear Skies

Benefits Outweigh the Costs

Clear Skies….

  • Guarantees significant emissions reductions – beginning years before full implementation
  • Uses a proven and flexible market-based approach with incentives for innovation
  • Increases certainty across the board for industry, regulators, and consumers
  • In Ohio, Clear Skies is projected to cost approximately $568 million annually by 2020 while providing health benefits totaling approximately $7.9 billion annually.
  • The increases in production costs under Clear Skies represent only a small percentage of total retail electricity sales revenue in Ohio.
    • Retail electricity sales revenue in Ohio was over $10.3 billion in 2000.
    • Adjusting these sales revenues by the same growth rate used for the modeling of costs would result in revenues of $15.9 billion annually in 2020.
  • Nationwide, the projected annual costs of Clear Skies (in $1999) are $4.3 billion in 2010 and $6.3 billion in 2020; the nationwide benefits of Clear Skies are expected to be over $113 billion annually by 2020.
    • An alternative estimate projects annual health benefits totaling $23 billion.

Note: Costs include capital costs, fuel, and other operation and maintenance costs (both fixed and variable) associated with the achievement of the emissions caps in the legislation (for example, the installation and operation of pollution controls). These state-level production costs are estimates; they do not account for the costs associated with the transfer of electricity across regions, nor the costs or savings that could be associated with allowance movement between sources.

Notes on EPA's Analysis

  • The information presented in this analysis reflects EPA's modeling of the Clear Skies Act of 2003.
    • EPA has updated this information to reflect modifications:
      • Changes included in the Clear Skies Act of 2003.
      • Revisions to the Base Case to reflect newly promulgated rules at the state and federal level since the initial analysis was undertaken.
    • The Clear Skies modeling results presented include the safety valve feature
  • This analysis compares new programs to a Base Case (Existing Control Programs), which is typical when calculating costs and benefits of Agency rulemakings.
    • The Base Case reflects implementation of current control programs only:
      • Does not include yet-to-be developed regulations such as those to implement the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
    • The EPA Base Case for power sector modeling includes:
      • Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin finalized before March 2003.
    • For air quality modeling, the Base Case also includes federal and state control programs, as well as the Tier II, Heavy Duty Diesel, and Nonroad Diesel rules.

Clear Skies


1. An alternative methodology for calculating health-related benefits projects approximately 600 premature deaths prevented and $1.5 billion in health benefits each year in Ohio by 2020.

State information based on EPA's modeling of the Clear Skies Act of 2002 is presented here for archival reasons.

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