Agency Seeks Input for Common-sense Design of GHG Rules

EPA has slated five listening sessions related to updating the Clean Air Act's pollution standards for power plants and refineries.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold five listening sessions to help the agency update the Clean Air Act pollution standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries.

Open to the public, the sessions will help the agency develop a common-sense approach to reduce GHGs from two of the largest industrial pollution sources, which are responsible for nearly 40 percent of the GHG pollution in the United States. Reducing greenhouse gas pollution can also result in reductions to other harmful air pollutants emitted by these facilities.

The agency is gathering information and seeking input and, as part of a settlement agreement announced Dec. 23, 2010, will propose GHG standards based on existing technologies for power plants in July 2011 and for refineries in December 2011. The agency will issue final standards in May 2012 and November 2012, respectively.

In addition to these GHG New Source Performance Standards, the agency also is addressing other pollutants, including mercury and particle pollution, in separate, coordinated actions.

The feedback from these sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective, and protective standards that reflect the latest and best information available. The agency will solicit additional public comment during the usual notice and comment period – including the opportunity for a formal public hearing – after the proposals have been published and before they go into effect.

Each listening session is scheduled to last two hours and will feature a facilitated roundtable discussion among stakeholder representatives who have been identified and selected for their expertise in the Clean Air Act standard-setting process. The agency has asked key stakeholder groups to identify these roundtable participants.

Registration is not required to attend the sessions. There will be a short period of time at the end of each session for the public to provide comments. The March 4 session will allow additional time for the public to provide feedback. To speak during these times, notify EPA when signing in to the session. If you do not have the opportunity to speak during these times or you cannot make it to the sessions, written comments on these planned rulemakings may be submitted. The agency requests that written comments be submitted by March 18.

For interested persons who are not able to attend the sessions, each session will be webcast and recorded for later viewing via the EPA website at www.epa.gov/live.

For more information and instructions for submitting written comments, visit www.epa.gov/airquality/listen.html.

Listening Session Schedule

Session 1: Electric Power Industry Representatives
Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 4
Location: EPA Ariel Rios East Building, Washington, D.C.

Session 2: Environmental and Environmental Justice Organization Representatives
Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 15
Location: Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, Atlanta, Ga.

Session 3: State and Tribal Representatives
Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 17
Location: Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building, Chicago, Ill.

Session 4: Coalition Group Representatives
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Feb. 23
Location: EPA Ariel Rios East Building, Washington, D.C.

Session 5: Petroleum Refinery Industry Representatives
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and public comments 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 4
Location: EPA Ariel Rios East Building, Washington, D.C.

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