Region Forward Blog

Region Readies For New Emissions Standards

Dec 19, 2013
A clear sky over spring in Washington D.C. Photo by Pat Knight.

Joe Kruger Director for Energy & Environment at the Bipartisan Policy Institute detailed new proposed regulations for coal power plants to the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee (MWAQC) at their final meeting in 2014. States including Maryland and Virginia will soon be required by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) on existing power plants EPA will propose the new rule next year.

“In the long term new EPA regulations will have a huge impact” said Kruger of carbon-limiting emission rules. He further detailed that existing regulations in tandem with market forces were promoting the use of cleaner cheaper non-renewable energy sources like natural gas in place of traditionally used coal in energy production. states across the U.S. will have flexibility to create their own plans for existing plants to comply with EPA greenhouse gas emissions limits. State plans can encourage equipment upgrades fuel alternation encouraging better customer power conservation and integrating renewable energy sources.

MWAQC is the entity certified by the mayor of the District of Columbia and the governors of Maryland and Virginia to prepare an air quality plan for the Metropolitan Washington DC-MD-VA nonattainment area under Section 174 of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. MWAQC members are elected officials of COG member jurisdictions; the air management and transportation directors of the District of Columbia Maryland and Virginia; members of the Maryland and Virginia General Assemblies; and the chair of the Transportation Planning Board.

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