New York Enforces New Pollution Standard On Power Plants

  • Published on January 12th, 2009

New York’s New Cap-And-Trade Program That Begins In March Has Better Emission Standards Than Those Of The EPA.


New York’s Environmental Board adopted stricter air pollution rules that limit how much pollution power plants and factories can release into the air.

Under these regulations, new industrial plants — as well as existing ones — will have to install new pollution regulators. The rules are set to go in effect in March. Not surprisingly, they are stricter than those of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Um, duh!

Check out: The EPA Messes with Texas.

The rules are related to a provision of the federal Clean Air Act that actually tries to keep the air…well, clean. It tells plants to install new emission controls when they expand or upgrade beyond routine maintenance.

Of course, the state Business Council has complained that the rules will hurt business by increasing costs and red tape. Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of the industry group says new rules could make New York less competitive for businesses compared to other states.

“These new rules will impede efforts by New York manufacturers and power generators to become more productive and energy efficient,” Adams said in a prepared statement.

Does anyone buy this? How many of us really feel that industry is really trying to become more energy-efficient? I sure don’t.

The state beefed up its pollution control rules after several attempts by the EPA to weaken them. While New York and other states sued to stop the Bush administration’s new federal rules, New York cooked up stricter ones of its own in August.

Read our article on New York Suing the EPA.

The New York “cap and trade” program—which is part of the larger Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative—says power plant companies can purchase C02 allowances at quarterly auctions or on secondary markets. I wonder if that includes eBay? They set the state’s annual emission allowance to 64.3 million tons.

“We have to administer the federal new source review requirements in a state implementation plan,” said J. Jared Snyder, DEC deputy commissioner.. “What we’re doing is modernizing our program and restructuring it to incorporate some federal reforms, but in a way that is more protective of the environment than EPA rules.”

New York was recently one of 11 Northeastern states that agreed to lower carbon fuel standard for vehicles and buildings.

Photo: © Manfredxy |

About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.