Supreme Court rules on EPA Tailoring Rule

By Staff | September 01, 2014

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on the U.S. EPA’s Tailoring Rule. While the court invalidated a portion of the rule, it essentially held up EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for certain facilities, specifically those required to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit due to the emission of other regulated pollutants. The court’s ruling, however, did nothing to address uncertainty regarding the EPA’s treatment of biogenic emissions.

As it stands now, the EPA will regulate GHG emissions from facilities that are required to obtain PSD permits for any other regulated pollutant. As such, it is possible that biomass power plants, ethanol plants, advanced biofuel plants, and others in the bioenergy sector will be subject to EPA’s GHG regulations, assuming they are already required to obtain a PSD permit. How biogenic emissions generated at these facilities will be treated under the regulations is currently unclear, and will remain unclear until the EPA completes its framework for biogenic carbon emissions.