Emissions Tracking Highlights
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EPA regularly posts updates of quarterly sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions data from coal-fired power plants subject to the Acid Rain Program (ARP) and/or the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) to make it easy for the public to track changes in emissions from these sources. Prices of SO2 and NOX allowances under CAIR have been relatively low since 2008 and this has raised concerns that coal-fired units could “backslide” on emission reductions. For example, units could burn dirtier fuels, operate scrubbers or SCRs at reduced efficiency, or even bypass scrubbers or SCRs altogether, relying instead on banked allowances. EPA is tracking SO2 and NOX emissions closely each quarter to evaluate further progress and assess whether backsliding may be occurring and, if so, where it may be taking place. For additional information and a detailed description of the analyses presented here, please see the background section of this site. All of the data presented here are also available in Air Market Program Data (AMPD). While still preliminary, the data show that while a few facilities are emitting more SO2 and/or NOx or emitting SO2 and/or NOx at a greater rate in 2013 than in 2012, overall emissions are essentially unchanged.
In late 2008 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C.) Circuit vacated CAIR. On July 6, 2011, EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to replace CAIR. On December 30, 2011, the court stayed CSAPR pending judicial review and on August 21, 2012, the court issued an opinion overturning CSAPR. On October 5, 2012 the United States filed a petition seeking en banc rehearing of the court's decision and on January 24, 2013 the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied EPA's petition for rehearing en banc of the Court's August 2012 decision to vacate the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. As the court stated in its opinion, CAIR remains in place and states and affected sources are expected to comply with the rule. On March 29, 2013, the U.S. Solicitor General petitioned the Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit Court's decision on CSAPR. On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the United States' petition asking the Court to review the D.C. Circuit Court's decision on CSAPR.
Annual Data: 2011 vs. 2012
The data presented here compare emissions, emission rates, and heat input from coal-fired power plant units in the ARP and CAIR. These files graphically and spatially compare annual emission data from 2011 with 2012. The data presented here are final data for 2011 and preliminary data for 2012 that are currently under review.
- Table of Emissions, Emission Rates, Heat Input: 2011 vs. 2012 (Excel 224 KB)
- Interactive Map of Emissions, Emission Rates, Heat Input: 2011 vs. 2012 (KMZ 608 KB) | (About KMZ)
- Maps of Emissions, Emission Rates, Heat Input: 2011 vs. 2012 (PDF 224 KB)
- Table of State Emissions, Emission Rates, Heat Input: 2011 vs. 2012 (Excel 55 KB)
- Table of National Aggregated Emissions, Emission Rates, Heat Input: 1990, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2012 (Excel 53 KB)
- Annual ARP Coal-Fired SO2 Emissions, SO2 Emission Rates and Heat Input Over Time, 1990 to 2012
- Annual ARP Coal-Fired NOx Emissions, NOx Emission Rates and Heat Input Over Time, 1995 to 2012
- Annual ARP Coal-Fired SO2 Emissions, SO2 Emission Rates and Heat Input Over Time, 1990 to 2012 Versus 1990
- Annual ARP Coal-Fired NOx Emissions, NOx Emission Rates and Heat Input Over Time, 1995 to 2012 Versus 1995
Interactive Motion Charts:
Quarterly Data: 2012 vs. 2013 (Quarters 1, 2 and 3)
The data presented here compare emissions, emission rates, and heat input from coal-fired power plant units in the ARP and CAIR. These files graphically and spatially compare quarterly emission data from 2012 with data for the same quarter from 2013. The data presented here are final data for 2012 and preliminary data for 2013 that are currently under review. As data are reviewed and verified, these materials will be updated.
- Table of Emissions, Emission Rates, Heat Input: 2012 vs. 2013(Excel 565 KB)
- Interactive Map of Emissions, Emission Rates, Heat Input: 2012 vs. 2013 (KMZ 949 KB) | (About KMZ)
- Maps of Emission Rates for Facilities with Substantial Changes: 2012 vs. 2013 (PDF 1.31 MB)
- Quarterly Coal-fired SO2 Emissions, SO2 Emission Rates and Heat Input, 2012 vs. 2013
- Quarterly Coal-fired NOx Emissions, NOx Emission Rates and Heat Input, 2012 vs. 2013
Interactive Motion Charts:
Coal-fired Characteristics and Controls: 2012
The data presented here provide emissions, heat input, capacity, on-line year, emission controls, program applicability, addresses, and additional identifying information for coal-fired power plant units, regardless of their inclusion the Acid Rain Program. These files contain data current as of 2012.
The data show the percent of coal-fired units, generating capacity, and generation with advanced emission controls.
- Table of Coal Unit Characteristics: 2012 (Excel, 432 KB)
- Summary of Coal Unit Controls: 2012 (PDF 15 KB)
Changes in Control Technologies at Coal-Fired Units: 2000-2014The following figures display where particular control technologies have been installed between 2000 to 2008 as well as what technologies EPA anticipates will be installed in 2010, 2012, and 2014 based on the information obtained from major company contacts and industry sources.
The data show that more and more coal-fired units are installing advanced controls, such as scrubbers, which are dramatically reducing pollution across the country.