EPA Announces First-Ever Carbon Pollution Safeguards for New Power Plants
July 11, 2012
On July 11, the Sierra Club, together with allied environmental groups, filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought by polluters against life-saving carbon pollution protections for new power plants. Recent protections proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency would establish the first-ever protections against dangerous carbon pollution standards for new power plants.
March 27, 2012
On March 27, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Obama Administration issued draft language to establish the first-ever carbon pollution protections for new power plants. These new carbon pollution safeguards will protect clean air and the planet, while also spurring innovation and creating jobs in the clean energy economy. Carbon pollution is the main contributor to climate disruption and is linked to life-threatening air pollution like smog – which triggers asthma attacks – making it a serious hazard to Americans’ health and future. Once finalized, these protections will ensure that new power plants meet public health standards and protect Americans from dangerous pollution.
Before this announcement, there were no limits on the amount of carbon being spewed into the air by the nation's largest sources of carbon pollution: dirty coal-fired power plants. Now, as the Sierra Club's executive director, Michael Brune stated, "these first-ever carbon pollution standards for new power plants mean that business as usual for the nation’s biggest sources of carbon pollution, dirty coal-burning utilities, is over."
February 15, 2011
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting listening sessions across the nation to gather input on New Source Performance Standards that will limit carbon pollution from the nation’s biggest, dirtiest polluters – power plants and refineries. On February 15, 2011, EPA met with local and national leaders from the environmental community in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss the environmental and environmental justice concerns related to carbon pollution.
“Our country's biggest polluters are currently allowed to spew carbon pollution into our air with no limits,” said Joanne Spalding who represented Sierra Club on the panel. “The lack of protections has put the health of communities across the country at risk, some disproportionately so. Quickly establishing safeguards for the biggest polluters will help us all breathe a little easier.”
Carbon pollution has been linked to other life-threatening types of pollution such as soot, smog and mercury. Decreasing carbon pollution will help reduce other types of harmful air pollution that contribute to asthma and other chronic respiratory problems. The clean up process will make for healthier kids and families and create much-needed jobs installing pollution controls.
EPA will be meeting with state and tribal representatives, refineries, and utilities to gather input on the safeguards in the coming weeks. Upcoming discussions include:
February 17, 2011: Chicago, Illinois with State and Tribal Representatives
February 23, 2011: Washington, DC with Coalition Group Representatives
March 4, 2011: Washington, DC with Refineries
Final carbon pollution standards for the biggest polluters will be issued in the next two years.
December 23, 2010
A broad coalition of states and environmental groups, including Sierra Club, have reached a monumental agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will limit global warming pollution from the nation’s biggest polluters – power plants and refineries. The agreement outlines a timetable for EPA to establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that will set baseline protections against carbon pollution from new and existing polluters.
In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune issued the following statement:
“Carbon pollution poses serious threats to Americans’ health, our economy and our future. We’re pleased that EPA is working to deliberately bring this dangerous pollution under control, focusing on the biggest polluters first. This is a major endeavor and the timeline laid out in today’s announcement balances the need for public input with the urgency to act quickly.
“For too long, dirty coal plants, oil refineries and other big polluters have been allowed to use our air and water as dumping grounds for their toxic pollution, and our families are paying the price.
“But there is a solution. There is technology available today that can affordably reduce carbon pollution. There is no reason why these big polluters shouldn’t be using it.
“EPA’s plan sets clear goals for cleaning up the way we power our country -- a move that will make for healthier kids and families and create much-needed jobs. Taken together with other agency efforts, this plan will help ensure cleaner air and water and a better quality of life for us all.”
Details and Documents:
Polluters Wage Legal Attack on Life-Saving Carbon Pollution Standards
July 12, 2012, Sierra Club Press Release
Sierra Club Applauds Protections for Dangerous Carbon Pollution
March 27, 2012, Sierra Club Press Release
EPA to delay proposing NSPS rules for power sector
June 13, 2011 by Gabriel Nelson, E&E News
States, Utilities Ask EPA to Boost Regional Cap-And-Trade Plans
April 19, 2011 by Gabriel Nelson, Greenwire
See other "Stop Polluters" cases.