China’s new state-of-the-art national air pollution standards for thermal power plants went into effect January 1, 2012, replacing standards that had been in effect since 2003.1 Not only are these standards much more stringent than the previous standards, but they bring Chinese power plant regulation generally in line with developed world standards in important respects. This is true for both new and existing power plants. The new Chinese law gives existing power plants a 2½ year grace period to meet the new standards, but then all existing plants will be subject to the new standard. Older plants will also see a tightened standard (and sometimes stricter than the US or the EU for existing plants).