The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule that allows states to satisfy regional haze requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA) by complying with the nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emission trading program that the Agency established for 28 states under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). To meet national visibility goals on certain protected Federal lands, section 169A of the CAA requires the states to submit implementation plans requiring, among other things, that existing stationary sources install “best available retrofit technology” (BART). EPA’s new rule concludes that compliance with CSAPR is a satisfactory alternative to BART, because the emission reductions that will be achieved under CSAPR exceed those feasible with source-specific BART standards. EPA acknowledges in the preamble that CSAPR has been stayed the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit pending the resolution of legal challenges to the rule; however, EPA says that CSAPR has a “strong legal basis” and that the ongoing judicial review of CSAPR does not preclude the Agency from allowing states to rely on CSAPR to satisfy regional haze requirements. The rule is available at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/visibility/pdfs/20120530finalrule.pdf.