Power Plant Emission Trends
For the first time since the start of the Acid Rain Program (ARP), annual emissions of SO2 and NOX emissions are both under a million tons in 2019. The 2019 annual data show a 23 percent decline in SO2 emissions compared to 2018, a 14 percent decline in NOX emissions, an 8 percent decline in CO2 emissions, and a 13 percent decrease in Hg emissions. Additionally, ozone season NOX emissions dropped by 13% in 2019. During this time period, electric generation from these power plants decreased by 3 percent.
From 1990-2019, annual emissions of SO2 from power plants fell by 94 percent and annual emissions of NOX from power plants fell by 86 percent. In 2019, sources in both the CSAPR SO2 annual program and the ARP together emitted 0.97 million tons, a reduction of 14.8 million tons, or 94 percent, from 1990 levels. In 2019, sources in both the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) NOX annual program and the ARP together emitted 0.88 million tons, a reduction of 5.5 million tons, or 86 percent, from 1990 levels.
EPA began collecting mercury and air toxics data under the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in 2015. Additional data reports for all programs can be found in our Power Plant Data Highlights. Our Progress Reports provide a more detailed summary of our emissions reductions programs and the environmental benefits. A complete dataset for all programs is available in Air Markets Program Data (AMPD).
Annual Percent Change of Emissions, 1995-2019
For the following figures, please select a pollutant:
Annual Sulfur Dioxide Emissions, 1990-2019
1991-1994 data are not available for Sulfur Dioxide.
Sulfur dioxide emissions have fallen since 1990.
1991-1994 data are not available for Nitrogen Oxides.
Annual nitrogen oxides emissions have fallen since 1990.
1990-1996 data are not available for Ozone Season Nitrogen Oxides.
Ozone season nitrogen oxides emissions have fallen since 1997.
1990-1994 data are not available for Carbon Dioxide.
Carbon dioxide emissions have fallen since 1995.
Hover left to right over the map to see the changes before and after.