EPA defers action on petition challenging treatment of biomass

By Erin Voegele | May 12, 2016

The U.S. EPA has published a notice in the Federal Register responding to six petitions for reconsideration of carbon pollution standards for new, modified and reconstructed electric generating units. The EPA is denying five of those petitions and deferring action on the issue of treatment of biomass raised in petitions submitted by the Biogenic CO2 Coalition and the state of Wisconsin.

The petitions pertain to EPA’s final rule, titled “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” which was published in October.

The notice explains that under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to convene a proceeding for reconsideration of a rule is a party raising an objection to the rule “can demonstrate to the Administrator that it was impracticable to raise such objection within [the public comment period] or if the grounds for such objection arose after the period for public comment (but within the time specified for judicial review) and if such objection is of central relevance to the outcome of the rule.”

Regarding the petition on biomass, the notice indicates “the EPA is deferring action on the petition of the Biogenic CO 2 Coalition pending our further on-going consideration of the underlying issue of whether and how to account for biomass when co-firing with fossil fuels.”

Additional information is available on the Federal Register website.