Power Sector Programs
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Greenhouse Gas Standards and Guidelines for Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants
Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, EPA’s power plant programs reduce air pollution to improve air quality and public health. These programs have delivered substantial emission reductions and air quality improvements, including lower outdoor concentrations of fine particles, ozone, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and mercury.
- Learn more about emissions trading programs.
The following programs are aimed at reducing interstate transport of air pollution and acid rain:
- The Good Neighbor Plan will begin in summer of 2023 and ensures that 23 states meet the Clean Air Act’s “Good Neighbor” requirements by reducing pollution that significantly contributes to problems attaining and maintaining EPA’s health-based air quality standard for ground-level ozone (or “smog”), known as the 2015 Ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), in downwind states.
- The Revised Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update (or Revised CSAPR Update) began in 2021 to resolve outstanding “good neighbor” obligations for the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The Revised CSAPR Update requires 12 states to reduce summertime NOX emissions from power plants.
- The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update (or CSAPR Update) began in 2017 and requires 22 states in the eastern U.S. to reduce summertime NOx emissions to address “good neighbor” obligations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.
- The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule began in 2015 to address “good neighbor” obligations for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and the 1997 and 2006 fine particle NAAQS. CSAPR requires 27 states to reduce power plant emissions of SO2 and NOX that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states.
- The Acid Rain Program began in 1995 and requires reductions in emissions of SO2 and NOx (the primary causes of acid rain) from power plants.
Learn more about the results of these programs.
The following figure is interactive. Hover over the states to see which programs apply or turn the layers on and off to see each program more clearly.
- The Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Interagency Communication and Consultation on Electric Reliability.
- The Clean Air Interstate Rule began in 2009 and capped emissions of SO2 and NOx in the eastern United States. This program ended January 1, 2015.
- The NOx Budget Trading Program was created under the NOx SIP Call. Beginning in 2003, it was designed to reduce the transport of ground-level ozone in the eastern U.S. and was effectively replaced by the CAIR NOx Ozone Season program in 2009. Learn more about the NOx SIP Call.
- The Ozone Transport Commission NOx Budget Program began in 1999 in the northeastern U.S., and was intended to reduce summertime NOx emissions. It was effectively replaced by the NOx Budget Trading Program under the NOx SIP Call in 2003.
Related EPA Programs
- Climate Change Regulatory Actions and Initiatives
- Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program
- Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
- Regional Haze Program
- Effluent Guidelines
- Coal Combustion Residuals
Related EPA Tools and Resources
- EPA Power Sector Modeling evaluates the economic impacts of environmental programs on the electric power sector.
- Clean Air Markets Program Data (CAMPD) details emissions and operations of sources affected by regulatory programs. These data can be accessed through reports, queries, maps, charts, or file downloads.
- Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) is a comprehensive source of data on the environmental characteristics of almost all electric power generated in the U.S., including air emissions and emissions intensity for nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide; emissions rates. eGRID also provides data on net generation, resource mix, and many other attributes.
- The U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory is an annual collection of data on the primary anthropogenic sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
- Facility Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool (FLIGHT), EPA’s comprehensive data publication tool focusing on greenhouse gas emissions, allows users to review information quickly and easily by filtering greenhouse gas emissions data from large facilities in a variety of ways, including by facility, industry, location, or gas.