On May 30, EPA issued a final rule as part of its regional haze program. The most significant aspect of the rule is the determination that the trading programs in EPA’s Trading Rule, now known the by inelegant acronym CSAPR,
achieve greater reasonable progress towards the national goal of achieving natural visibility conditions in Class I areas than source-specific Best Available Retrofit Technology, or BART.
Of course, the provision only applies to electric generating units in states covered by CSAPR and only to emissions of SO2 and/or NOx. Nonetheless, it represents a significant step forward by EPA in its efforts to coordinate among its different regulatory responsibilities under the Clean Air Act.
Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Earthjustice apparently opposes the rule. The Daily Environment Report quotes Earthjustice as saying that EPA “is attempting to substitute one clean-up program for another.” And the problem with that is exactly what? I just don’t think that the environmental movement furthers its cause when it opposes efforts to regulate as cost-effectively as possible.