How Good Are You At Reading Tea Leaves? EPA Intends To Reconsider Parts of the Mercury Rule

On Friday, EPA announced that it was reconsidering part of the Utility MACT rule. As part of the reconsideration, EPA will stay the effectiveness of the new source emission standards in the rule for three months.

EPA stated that:

We anticipate that he focus of the reconsideration rulemaking will be a review of issues that are largely technical in nature. Our expectation is that under the reconsideration rule new sources will be required to install the latest and most effective pollution controls and will be able to monitor compliance with the new standards with proven monitoring methods.

We intend to expedite this reconsideration rulemaking and complete the rulemaking by March of 2013.

So, the burning (as it were) question in DC is how broad the reconsideration will prove. Will it affect rules for existing sources? Will it truly be technical in nature? Is it all just intended to push this issue past the November elections?

I’m guessing that the reconsideration will not have a significant impact on the scope of the rule, but that it will address issues necessary, in EPA’s mind, to bulletproof the rule against judicial review. It does happen to be mighty convenient that proceedings on the rule will be deferred until after November.

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