EPA’s Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) requires reductions in emissions of NOx and SO2 from electric generating units (EGUs) fired by fossil fuels. The intent of CAIR is to reduce the impact of stationary emissions sources on air quality in downwind states, which is a significant problem in the eastern U.S. In 2005, EPA determined that sources of NOx and SO2 emissions in Georgia significantly contribute to nonattainment of, or interfere with maintenance of, the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standard Standard (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter in one or more downwind states. In 2007, EPA approved Georgia’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision to satisfy the CAIR requirements for Georgia. In the SIP revision, Georgia elected to participate in the EPA-administered cap-and-trade programs that establish annual state-wide budgets for NOx and SO2 emissions from EGUs. Click here to view Georgia’s SIP revision for CAIR.
The goal of CAIR is to assist impacted downwind areas in attaining and maintaining the national ambient air quality standards for ground-level ozone and fine particulate pollution. The rule, which is codified in 40 CFR 51.123 (NOx) and 40 CFR 51.124 (SO2), establishes annual NOx and SO2 emissions caps for affected states, including Georgia. More detail on CAIR can be found on EPA’s web page. A related federal rule is the Cross-state Air Pollution Rule, which would have replaced CAIR beginning in 2012. The Cross-state Rule has not been implemented to date due to legal challenges.
In the federal CAIR rule, EPA established annual emissions caps for Georgia as follows:
|Pollutant||Emissions cap (tons)
2009 – 2014 (NOx)
2010 – 2014 (SO2)
|Emissions cap (tons)
2015 and later
In general, the following EGUs are affected by and subject to Georgia’s CAIR Rules for NOx and SO2:
a stationary, fossil-fuel-fired boiler or stationary, fossil-fuel-fired combustion turbine serving a generator with nameplate capacity of more than 25 MWe produced electricity for sale.
a qualifying cogeneration unit serving a generator with nameplate capacity of more than 25 MWe and supplying in any calendar year more than one-third of the potential electric output or 219,000 MWh, whichever is greater, to any utility power distribution system for sale.
Each CAIR NOx and SO2 source shall have one CAIR Designated Representative with regard to all matters under the CAIR NOx and SO2 Annual Trading Programs. The source may designate one alternative CAIR designated representative. The Designated Representative and alternate are established by submitting the appropriate form to EPA. Forms are provided through EPA’s CAMD Business System (CBS), which can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/business/forms.html
Existing and New CAIR NOx Units
An existing CAIR NOx unit is an affected unit that commenced operation prior to January 1, 2006. A new CAIR NOx unit is an affected unit that commenced (or commences) operation on January 1, 2006, or later and does not have a baseline heat input. A new CAIR NOx unit becomes an “existing unit” under Georgia’s CAIR NOx program when the unit’s operation start-up year falls within the “five-year heat input baseline” for an existing unit. For any given control year (current year), the heat input baseline period consists of the five-consecutive-year period ending in the year that is five years prior to the control year. For example, the baseline years for control year 2013 are the years 2004 – 2008.
Notification Requirements for New CAIR NOx Units
The CAIR designated representative may submit to Georgia EPD Air Protection Branch, Stationary Source Permitting Program, a request to be allocated CAIR NOx allowances starting with the first calendar year after the calendar year in which a new CAIR NOx unit commences commercial operation. Georgia EPD’s receipt of the notification must be received by July 1 of the applicable control year. Allocations for such new units will come from the new source set-aside portion (see below) of the annual emissions allowance cap.
NOx Allowance Allocations
Georgia’s cap on annual NOx allowances is 66,321 through 2014 and will decrease to 55,268 starting with control year 2015. Georgia EPD establishes facility-specific NOxemissions allowance allocations for each control period (calendar year). The allowance allocations for a specific facility are based on the facility’s fuel type and its historical heat input. The statewide sum of the facility-specific allowances allocated for a given year cannot exceed the state-wide cap. Allowances may be traded between facilities and unused allowances may be banked in a facility’s allowance account. At the end of a control year each facility must retire a number of allowances equal to the facility’s actual NOx emissions during that year. See the accompanying table for facility allocations for the 2013 through 2017 control periods. EPA manages the facilities’ emissions allowance accounts. Records of the allowance accounts can be accessed at EPA’s Air Markets Program Data page.
Georgia’s CAIR rule requires that a block of NOx allowances be set aside in each control year for new CAIR NOx units (those that don’t yet have baseline heat inputs – see above). The block of allowances, called the new source set-aside, is equal to 3% of the annual emissions cap (1,990 tons through 2014). The owner of a unit that meets the eligibility criteria may request an allotment of allowances from the new source set-aside block. In the fall of a given control year, unclaimed new source set-aside allowances are reallocated to existing sources (facilities) for the current control year.
SO2 Allowance Allocations
Annual facility-specific SO2 emissions allowance allocations are established through EPA’s Title IV (Acid Rain) cap-and-trade program. These allocations can be found at 40 CFR 73.10. Each allowance allocated for the period 2010 through 2014 authorizes 0.5 tons of SO2 emissions, whereas an allowance allocated for control periods 2015 and later authorizes 0.35 tons of emissions. This system results in statewide annual caps of 213,057 tons of emissions for 2010 through 2014 and 149,140 tons for 2015 and later.
The statewide sum of the facility-specific allowances allocated for a given year cannot authorize emissions in excess of the annual state-wide cap. Allowances may be traded between facilities and unused allowances may be banked in a facility’s allowance account. At the end of a control year each facility must retire a sufficient number of allowances to authorize the facility’s actual SO2 emissions during that year. EPA manages the facilities’ emissions allowance accounts. Records of the allowance accounts can be accessed at EPA’s Air Markets Program Data page.
Each Georgia CAIR source required to have a Title V operating permit must also have a CAIR permit that is administered by Georgia EPD’s Air Branch. The CAIR permit application is due 18 months prior to the commencement of operation of a new CAIR unit. The CAIR permit is included as a part of the Title V permit and lists each of the CAIR NOx and CAIR SO2 units that are present at the source and specifies the applicable CAIR requirements. View a copy of the permit application,
Georgia SIP Revision and Rules
NOx Allowance Allocations
NOx New-source Set-aside Reallocation Submittals