Presenting Luminant’s statement, Kim Mireles, vice president for Environmental Services, said, “EPA’s proposal treats Texas differently than other states and reflects a drastic shift in how EPA reviews state regional haze state implementation plans (SIP). The proposal creates new standards and requirements that EPA has not imposed on other states in review of their SIPs for the first planning period.”
Under the Clean Air Act’s regional haze program, each state comes up with a plan to reduce SO2, NOx and particulate matter emissions that have been determined to affect visibility in national parks, forests and wilderness areas. This includes areas within the state, for which the state is primarily responsible, but also areas in neighboring states, which require regional coordination.
However, in proposing to disapprove much of Texas’ regional haze SIP and substituting its own federal plan, the EPA disregards the regional agreement between Texas and Oklahoma. The EPA’s own estimates suggest capital cost of more than $2 billion for 14 Texas coal-fired units, with approximately $1 billion for Luminant alone.
Mireles told the EPA, “Current air quality monitoring demonstrates that the Class I areas that EPA is focused on have already achieved the visibility goals that EPA is proposing for 2018 for those areas, or are on track to do so—all without the additional emission limits and costs that EPA is proposing.”
The EPA at the Austin hearing indicated it will partially grant requests by the TCEQ, Luminant and others to extend the public comment period to April 20.