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Acid Rain in New England

Acid Rain Permits Program

Mount Hope Bay and Brayton Point as seen from Portsmouth, RI - Click for a larger image

EPA's Acid Rain Program was developed in response to Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The program requires most power plants and other facilities that choose to participate in the program to obtain a permit. Click here to see more information on permitting and other aspects of the Acid Rain Program.

An Acid Rain Permit tells us how the power plant plans to comply with the Acid Rain Program. It may be issued separately from other permits required by EPA, but eventually becomes part of the plant’s Title V Permit. The owners of the plant send an application to the appropriate agency. The owners of the plant send an application to the appropriate agency. The agency, after checking to see if the application is complete, reviews the application, and issues the permit. The Acid Rain permitting fact sheet contains details of the process.

During Phase I of the Acid Rain Program (1995-2000), EPA Regional Offices issued Permits to those power plants which participated. In New England, Merrimack Station in Bow, NH was the only station required to participate. Four other power plants (Newington Station, Portsmouth, NH; Mount Tom, Chicopee, MA; Salem Harbor, Salem, MA; Brayton Point, Somerset, MA) also participated in Phase I under other provisions of the program. EPA New England issued Phase I permits to each of these plants. The Phase I permits expired on January 1, 2000.

During Phase II (2000-present) the permits are issued by the States. Each New England State has a program which issues permits. In Vermont, the Acid Rain Permit is generally issued as part of the Title V Permit. Other states generally issue the Acid Rain permit first, and later incorporate it into the Title V Permit. Acid Rain Permits are usually issued for a period of 5 years. Click here to see a list of power plants currently in the Acid Rain Program. Each of these facilities have filed an acid Rain Permit application with the appropriate state, and the state has issues a permit.

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