The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) today issued a policy brief, Preparing for 111(d): 10 Steps Regulators Can Take Now, which identifies ten concrete actions that states can take over the next year to help lay the groundwork for an effective, approvable state 111(d) plan.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants under section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act sets state-specific targets that allow each state to measure progress against itself. The proposed rule also encourages measures that reduce GHG emissions both at the power plant level and more broadly through demand-side and renewable energy programs that reduce the need to utilize fossil-fueled supply resources.
“States have too many compliance options, inadequate economic models, too little time, and too few resources to take a traditional approach to compliance with the proposed rule,” said Ken Colburn, RAP senior associate and policy brief co-author. “Instead, options like evaluating the state’s existing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, incorporating GHGs into utility planning processes, and engaging with the EPA, other states, and the local or regional grid operator are the best actions states can take right now.”
Because EPA’s 111(d) proposal directly integrates energy and environmental policy and provides unprecedented compliance flexibility, states will have to adapt their energy and environmental regulatory infrastructures and historical practices to take full advantage of this opportunity.
“States that act now to bring together their energy and environmental regulators and consumer advocates to coordinate efforts will be in a much better position to comply with the final 111(d) rule,” said Christopher James, a RAP principal and co-author of the policy brief. “In essence, actions like energy efficiency and renewable energy development are a trifecta for states, as their benefits go beyond GHG reductions and also reduce ground-level ozone precursors, fine particles, and hazardous air pollutants like mercury.”
The report is the latest in a series of resources RAP has developed to help states plan and comply with upcoming regulations affecting the power industry. Other titles in the series include, Preparing for EPA Regulations: Working to Ensure Reliable and Affordable Environmental Compliance, Further Preparing for EPA Regulations, and Quantifying the Air Quality Impacts of Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs.