United States: FERC Staff Seeks Comments On Its Proposal For A Process To Advise The EPA

On January 30, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC" or "Commission") staff issued a White Paper explaining staff's proposal on advising the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") in responding to requests for an extension of time to comply with EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards ("MATS").1 FERC staff is seeking comments on its proposal.

MATS limits mercury, acid gases, and other toxic emissions from power plants. According to the final rule, entities subject to MATS must comply within three years of the MATS effective dates. Some affected sources, however, are eligible for a one-year extension, and some affected sources can apply to the EPA for an Administrative Order ("AO") allowing them to operate in noncompliance with MATS for one additional year. Such sources include: (1) electric generating units ("EGUs") that may affect reliability if they are deactivated; and (2) EGUs that may affect reliability due to delays related to installation of controls.

The EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance released a policy memorandum ("Memorandum") that provides the EPA's intended approach in issuing AOs.2 According to the Memorandum, the EPA will seek advice from FERC and other relevant reliability entities prior to issuing any AOs. FERC staff's White Paper sets out a proposal for providing such advice to the EPA.

Per the EPA Memorandum, an owner/operator who submits a request for an AO, must also submit a copy of the request to FERC. In addition, the owner/operator is required to submit a written analysis of any reliability risks posed by the deactivation of the EGU and a written concurrence of the same (or an explanation of why such concurrence is not available) by the relevant planning authority. The requesting owner/operator must also provide a copy of the written analysis to FERC.

The FERC staff proposes that any such AO requests would be filed with the Commission Secretary and treated as an Informational Filing. The Commission would then assign each request a separate Administrative Docket ("AD") number. Any Informational Filing should include the same information that was submitted to the EPA. The staff notes that the "Commission may request additional information from the applicant but generally expects to rely on the information submitted to EPA."3

Although the EPA Memorandum states that the analysis should show that operation of a particular unit after the MATS compliance date would result in either violations of reliability criteria or cause reserves to fall below the required system reserve margin, the Commission proposes to review an informational filing based on whether deactivation would be a violation of Commission-approved Reliability Standards. The Commission staff request comments on this proposal. Furthermore, the Commission staff seek comments on whether the review should be done de novo or with some level of deference to the initial analysis. The White Paper does not propose to allow parties to intervene in the preparation of the Commission's comments. However, the EPA Memorandum requires that owners/operators submitting an AO application must also include any written comments that they have received from third parties that address operation of their units after the MATS compliance date. Such comments must also be included in the copy of the application that FERC receives. FERC staff intends to include such third party comments in the informational filing. Finally, the Commission would then advise the EPA by submitting written comments to the EPA. If the Commission comments to the EPA that there might be a violation of reliability standards, such comments do not constitute final agency decision that would trigger civil penalties or other enforcement actions.

The White Paper emphasized that any action by the Commission under these procedures would only serve as advice to the EPA. The EPA is not bound by FERC's comments and the decision to grant or deny an AO lies entirely with the EPA.

As noted above, the Commission staff is seeking comments on the proposed process for advising the EPA, and in particular:

  • whether the Commission's determination should be based on the standard proposed by the EPA or the Commission-approved Reliability Standard;
  • how the Commission should review issues other than potential violations of a Reliability Standard; and
  • whether the Commission's review should be de novo. Comments are due by February 29, 2012.

Footnotes

1 Staff White Paper on Commission's Role Regarding Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (Jan. 30, 2012) ("White Paper"), available at http://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2012/2012-1/01-30-12-whitepaper. Pdf .

2 The Environmental Protection Agency's Enforcement Response Policy for Use of Clean Air Act Section 113(a) Administrative Orders in Relation to Electric Reliability and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (Dec. 16, 2011), available A t http://www.epa.gov/mats/pdfs/EnforcementResponsePolicyforCAA113.pdf .

3 White Paper at p 6.

www.cadwalader.com

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions