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Emission, Compliance, and Market Data

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Ozone Season NOx Reductions | Affected Units | State-by-State NOx Reductions | 2008 Compliance Results | Banking in 2008 | Market Activity | Appendix A

The NOx Budget Trading Program (NBP) was a market-based cap and trade program created to reduce the regional transport of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power plants and other large combustion sources that contribute to ozone nonattainment in the eastern United States. NOx is a major precursor to the formation of ground-level ozone, a pervasive air pollution problem in many areas in the East. The NBP was designed to reduce NOx emissions during the warm summer months, referred to as the ozone season, when ground-level ozone concentrations are highest.

Over the next several months, EPA will release a series of reports summarizing progress under the NBP. This first report presents 2008 data on emission reductions, compliance results, and NOx allowance prices. Future reports will evaluate progress under the NBP in 2008 by analyzing emission reductions, reviewing compliance results and market activity, and comparing changes in emissions to changes in ozone concentrations.

At a Glance: NBP Results in 2008

Ozone Season Emissions: 481,420 tons
Compliance

Nearly 100%—only two units out of compliance (out of a total 2,568 units)

Allowances

275,367 unused NBP allowances transferred for future use under the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR)

Allowance Prices

28% decline in 2008, from $825/ton to $592/ton

Emission Reductions

Ozone Season NOx Reductions under the NBP

In 2008, NBP sources emitted 481,420 tons of NOx during the summer ozone season, an overall decrease of 24,880 tons from 2007. Emissions in 2008 were 62 percent below 2000 levels, 75 percent below 1990 levels, and 9 percent below the 2008 cap. Figure 1 shows the total ozone season NOx emissions for all affected sources in the NBP region in 2008 compared to pre-NBP baseline years (1990 and 2000) and prior NBP compliance years (2003 through 2007). It also presents the allowances allocated for 2008, which comprised the cap (the sum of the state budgets) for the program (528,453 tons).

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the files that constitute this report. See EPA's About PDF page to learn more about PDF, and a link to the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Additional data are provided in Excel spreadsheet format. Open it with your installed version of Excel or download a free copy of the Microsoft Excel viewer

Figure 1: Ozone Season NOx Emissions from All NBP Sources

Figure 1: Ozone Season NOx Emissions from All NBP Sources

Notes:

Source: EPA, 2009

Due to litigation, sources in states affected by the NBP had three different compliance dates: May 1, 2003 for Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) states; May 31, 2004 for non-OTC states; and May 1, 2007 for Missouri. To compare emissions year-to-year, the data presented in this report generally include full ozone season emissions for all states, rather than “compliance only” emissions based on these various compliance deadlines. This approach allows for a consistent comparison across all states and all years. All data for 2003–2008 in this report were gathered from EPA’s data systems as of April 1, 2009.

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Affected Units

There were 2,568 affected units under the NBP in 2008, including some units that may not have operated nor had emissions during the 2008 ozone season. For example, some units provide electricity only on peak demand days, and may not operate every year.

Most of the units in the NBP were electric generating units (EGUs)—large boilers, turbines, and combined cycle units used to generate electricity for sale. Figure 2 shows that EGUs constituted 88 percent of all regulated NBP units. The program also applied to large industrial units that produced electricity or steam primarily for internal use. Examples of these units are boilers and turbines at heavy manufacturing facilities, such as paper mills, petroleum refineries, and iron and steel production facilities. These units also included steam plants at institutional settings, such as large universities or hospitals. Some states included other types of units, such as petroleum refinery process heaters and cement kilns.

Ozone season NOx emissions decreased substantially, by 43 percent, between 2003 and 2008, even while energy demand (as measured by heat input) remained essentially flat during the same period. Table 1 shows that emission reductions have occurred because the overall average ozone season NOx emission rate has declined significantly, by about 45 percent, since the NBP began in 2003.

Figure 2: Number of Units in the NBP by Type in 2008

Figure 2: Number of Units in the NBP by Type in 2008

Notes:

Source: EPA, 2009

Table 1: Comparison of Ozone Season NOx Emissions, Heat Input, and NOx Emission Rates for All NBP Sources, 2003—2008

Units by Fuel Type Ozone Season NOx Mass Emissions
(thousand tons)
Ozone Season Heat Input
(billion mmBtu)
Ozone Season NOx Emission Rate
(lb/mmBtu)
20032004 200520062007 2008 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Coal 800 564 494 475 475 456 4.91 4.91 5.10 5.06 5.15 4.93 0.32 0.23 0.19 0.19 0.18 0.18
Oil 26 25 32 14 13 9 0.27 0.25 0.31 0.17 0.17 0.13 0.19 0.20 0.20 0.16 0.15 0.14
Gas 24 20 23 19 19 16 0.59 0.70 0.85 0.87 0.99 0.85 0.08 0.06 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.04
Total 849 609 549 508 506 481 5.77 5.86 6.27 6.10 6.30 5.91 0.29 0.21 0.18 0.17 0.16 0.16

Notes:

Source: EPA, 2009

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State-by-State NOx Reductions

Ozone season NOx emissions have decreased from levels in baseline years in all states participating in the NBP. EPA projects that the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) NOx ozone season program, which started this year, will bring a continued decline in emissions across the region (as shown in Figure 3).

Figure 3: State-level Ozone Season NOx Emissions from NBP to CAIR, 1990—2010

Figure 3: State-level Ozone Season NOx Emissions from NBP to CAIR, 1990-2010

Scale: Largest bar equals 241,000 tons of NOx emissions in Ohio, 1990.

Note: Projected emissions in 2010 represent estimated reductions due to the implementation of CAIR.

Source: EPA, 2009

In the 2008 ozone season, the total emissions from NBP sources were about 47,000 tons (9 percent) below the regional emission cap. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia had emissions below their allowance budgets, collectively by about 71,000 tons. Another six states (Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) exceeded their 2008 budgets by a total of about 24,000 allowances, indicating that some sources within those states covered a portion of their emissions with allowances banked from earlier years or purchased from the market.

In any given year, emission control programs experience variation in emissions from individual units due to a wide range of conditions, including weather, grid demand, transmission constraints, fuel costs, and compliance strategy. See Appendix A at the end of this document for individual state emission and budget data. Subsequent 2008 reports will analyze these state-specific results in further detail. In addition, detailed unit-level data are available in Appendix 1. To view emission data in an interactive file format using Google Earth or a similar three-dimensional platform, use the resources on EPA’s Clean Air Markets Interactive Mapping page.

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Compliance

2008 Compliance Results

There were 2,568 units affected under the NBP in 2008. Of those units, only two units at separate facilities did not hold sufficient allowances to cover their emissions (63 tons total). Because 2008 was the last official year of the NBP, affected facilities have transitioned to the CAIR NOx ozone season program, which began on May 1st for the 2009 ozone season. Accordingly, the two units out of compliance automatically surrendered first year (2009) CAIR NOx ozone season program allowances on a 3:1 basis, or 189 allowances total. Table 2 summarizes the allowance reconciliation process for 2008.

Table 2: NOx Allowance Reconciliation Summary for the NOx Budget Trading Program in 2008

Total Allowances Held for Reconciliation (2003 through 2008 Vintages) 755,684
Allowances Held in Compliance or Overdraft Accounts 673,336
Allowances Held in Other Accounts* 82,348
Allowances Deducted in 2008 482,476
Allowances Deducted for Actual Emissions 481,147
Additional Allowances Deducted under Progressive Flow Control (PFC) 1,329
Banked Allowances (Carried into 2009 CAIR NOx Ozone Season Program) 273,208
Allowances Held in Compliance or Overdraft Accounts 188,003
Allowances Held in Other Accounts** 85,205
Penalty Allowances Deducted*** (from 2009 CAIR NOx Ozone Season Program Allocations) 189

Notes:

*“Other Accounts” refers to general accounts in the NOx Allowance Tracking System (NATS) that can be held by any source, individual, or other organization, as well as state accounts.

**Total includes 2,857 unused new unit allowances returned to state holding accounts.

***These penalty deductions are made from 2009 vintage year CAIR NOx ozone season allowances, not 2008 allowances.

Source: EPA, 2009

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Banking in 2008

Figure 4 shows the allowances allocated each year, the allowances banked from the previous year, and the total ozone season emissions subject to allowance holding requirements for NBP sources from 2003 to 2008. The bank has grown each year since the program began in 2003, with this trend continuing through the NBP's final ozone season. After completion of the 2008 reconciliation process, the bank increased to 273,208 NBP allowances, as shown in Table 2. Additionally, 2008 marked the fifth of six compliance years in which sources achieved more reductions than required under the NBP and were able to bank allowances for use in future years.

In 2009, the NBP transitioned to the CAIR NOx ozone season program. As part of this process, EPA transferred NBP banked allowances and some previously unallocated allowances held by states to corresponding CAIR accounts. In total, 275,367 allowances were transferred from the NBP to the CAIR NOx ozone season program. In addition, while the NBP flow control provisions resulted in 1,329 additional allowances being deducted from the allowance bank as part of the 2008 reconciliation process (see Table 2), flow control no longer applies in 2009 and the transition to CAIR. Thus, the transferred allowances may be used under CAIR with no restrictions or time limits on a straight 1:1 basis.

Figure 4: NOx Allowance Allocations and the Allowance Bank, 2003—2008

Figure 4: NOx Allowance Allocations and the Allowance Bank, 2003-2008

Notes:

*Allowances allocated may include those issued by states from base budget, compliance supplement pool (CSP) (available only for the first two years of compliance), and opt-in allowances. Not all budgeted allowances were necessarily issued by the states each year.

**This graph represents only those emissions from states who were subject to compliance each year. Thus, the 2003 total ozone season emissions includes emissions only from OTC states. The 2004 total represents emissions from non-OTC states in the NBP (except Missouri) during a shortened control period (May 31 to September 30) and OTC states during the full control period (May 1 to September 30). The 2005 and 2006 emissions represent the full ozone season for all participating NBP states, except Missouri. The 2007 data is the first year in which the ozone season emissions represent all NBP states, including Missouri.

Source: EPA, 2009

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Market Activity

NOx Allowance Trading in 2008

The 2008 NOx allowance market experienced a 28 percent price decline—beginning the year at $825 per ton in January and climbing as high as $1,400 during the middle of the year before falling to a period-end closing price in November of $592 per ton (see Figure 5). NBP reports released in the next few months will investigate allowance market activity for 2008 in more detail.

Figure 5: NOx Allowance Spot Price (Prompt Vintage), January 2008—November 2008

Figure 5: NOx Allowance Spot Price (Prompt Vintage), January 2008-November 2008

Note: Prompt vintage is the vintage for the “current” compliance year. For example, 2008 vintage allowances were considered the prompt vintage until the true-up period closed at the end of November 2008.

Source: CantorCO2e’s Market Price Indicator (MPI), 2009

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Appendix A: Ozone Season NOx Emissions (Tons) from NBP Sources, 1990—2008, and 2008 State Trading Budgets

State 1990 2000 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2008 Budget
AL 89,758 84,560 50,895 40,564 33,632 27,812 28,744 30,221 25,497
CT 11,203 4,697 2,070 2,191 3,022 2,514 2,152 1,721 4,477
DC 576 134 72 35 279 115 76 133 233
DE 13,180 5,256 5,414 5,068 6,538 4,763 5,454 4,285 5,227
IL 124,006 119,460 48,917 40,976 37,843 36,343 35,630 34,126 35,557
IN 218,333 145,722 100,772 68,375 57,249 55,510 56,374 57,838 55,729
KY 153,179 101,601 63,057 40,394 36,730 37,461 40,210 39,386 36,109
MA 40,367 14,324 9,265 7,481 8,269 5,464 3,666 3,230 12,861
MD 54,375 28,954 19,257 19,944 20,989 18,480 16,521 10,667 15,466
MI 120,132 80,425 45,614 39,848 42,157 40,353 34,354 34,358 31,247
MO 64,272 34,058 29,407 16,190 18,809 15,917 12,961 12,777 13,459
NC 92,059 73,082 51,943 39,821 32,888 30,387 28,390 27,105 34,703
NJ 44,359 14,630 11,003 10,807 11,277 8,692 7,773 7,139 13,022
NY 84,485 43,583 34,815 34,157 36,633 26,339 24,728 20,934 41,385
OH 240,768 159,578 133,043 67,304 54,335 52,817 57,862 54,644 49,842
PA 199,137 87,329 51,530 52,140 51,125 52,806 57,615 56,747 50,843
RI 1,099 288 209 177 253 181 187 161 936
SC 56,153 39,674 34,624 25,377 18,193 18,376 18,418 17,552 19,678
TN 115,348 69,641 55,376 31,399 25,718 23,930 23,261 21,711 31,480
VA 51,866 40,043 32,766 25,448 22,309 20,491 22,957 19,596 21,195
WV 149,176 109,198 69,171 41,333 30,401 28,852 28,967 27,089 29,507
All NBP States 1,923,831 1,256,237 849,220 609,029 548,649 507,603 506,300 481,420 528,453

Notes:

Source: EPA, 2009

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