The "Air Pollution Management" Newsletter

June 2008
No. 362

PM 2.5 NAAQS Rule

Rules limiting the emissions of fine particulate in the ambient air will impact SOx control purchases because sulfates represent a significant portion of the ambient particulate. Therefore, indirectly the rule will impact mercury technology selection. CAIR will cause some reduction. But it is generally agreed that states will have to take additional measures in order to meet the requirements.

On March 29, 2007, EPA issued a final rule defining requirements for state plans to clean the air in 39 areas where particle pollution levels do not meet national air quality standards. Fine particles or "PM2.5" can aggravate heart and lung diseases and have been associated with premature death and a variety of serious health problems including heart attacks, chronic bronchitis and asthma attacks. This rule will help state and tribal environmental agencies develop and implement plans that will improve air quality for millions of Americans.

States must meet the PM2.5 standard by 2010. However, in their 2008 implementation plans, states may propose an attainment date extension for up to five years. Those areas for which EPA approves an extension must achieve clean air as soon as possible, but no later than 2015. It is therefore likely that this rule will have a positive effect on the NOx control market.

The odds are ten to one in favor of a plant being required to install SOx control because of this regulation in the next 15 years, if it has not already installed it for another reason. The reason that this is universally applicable is that states with non-compliance areas will sue the plants upwind. Therefore all plants will be impacted.


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