Carbon Pollution Standards

What EPA is Doing

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Developing carbon pollution standards under the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act lays out distinct approaches for new and existing sources under Section 111: a federal program for new sources and state programs for existing sources. EPA is using its authority under section 111 of the Clean Air Act to issue standards, regulations or guidelines, as appropriate that address carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, including modifications of those plants. This section of the Act establishes a mechanism for controlling air pollution from stationary sources.

Section 111 (b) is the federal program to address new, modified and reconstructed sources by establishing standards.

Section 111 (d) is a state-based program for existing sources. The EPA establishes guidelines. The states then design programs that fit in those guidelines and get the needed reductions.

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Overview presentation of Clean Air Act Section 111

The following overview presentation provides a basic understanding of Clean Air Act section 111 and how it will inform the design of the program.

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Reducing carbon pollution from the power sector

In the Clean Air Act, Congress recognized that the opportunity to build emissions controls into a source's design is greater for new sources than for existing sources, so it laid out different approaches to set the two types of standards.

On September 20, 2013, EPA proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants built in the future and kicked off the process of outreach with states, stakeholders and the public to establish carbon pollution standards for currently operating power plants.

On June 2, 2014, EPA, under President Obama's Climate Action Plan, proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. The Clean Power Plan will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations.

On October 28, 2014, EPA issued a supplemental proposal to the Clean Power Plan to address carbon pollution from affected power plants in Indian Country and U.S. territories.

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