Discussion Paper

Modeling the Effects of Changes in New Source Review on National SO2 and NOx Emissions from Electricity-Generating Units

Mar 7, 2007 | David A. Evans, Benjamin F. Hobbs, Craig Oren, Karen L. Palmer


The Clean Air Act establishes New Source Review (NSR) programs that apply to the construction or modification of major stationary emissions sources. In 2002 and 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revised its rules to narrow the applicability of NSR to facility renovations. Congress then mandated a National Research Council study of the effects of the rules. We used an electricity-sector model—the Integrated Planning Model (IPM)—to explore the possible effects of the equipment replacement provision (ERP), the principal NSR change that was to affect the power-generation industry. Although our analysis cannot predict effects on local emissions, assuming that the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) is implemented, we find that stringent enforcement of the previous NSR rules would likely lead to no or limited decreases in national emissions compared to policies such as ERP. Our results indicate that tighter emissions caps could achieve further decreases in national emissions more cost-effectively than NSR programs