NEW REPORT DEMONSTRATES NATIONAL CLEAN AIR GOALS ARE
COMMISSIONER SHINN OUTLINES CLEAN AIR PLAN IN WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON D.C. - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn today approved a rule that requires coal
power plants and other large burners to reduce by up to 90 percent
emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a key pollutant in the
formation of summer smog.
The rule also creates an emissions trading program that caps the
state's total NOx emissions far below 1990 levels, and favors electric
power production at New Jersey's cleanest plants. The rule implements
a memorandum of understanding with other northeastern states in the
Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) region to reduce smog and protect
Shinn signed the rule while releasing a study that found reliable NOx
control technologies are readily available for all types of utility
"The facts are clear," stated Shinn. "Deep reductions in NOx
emissions are both technically feasible and affordable. The case
studies presented in this report show reliable pollution control
technologies are in use today and are effective and economical. This
report helps provide the foundation for wise environmental management.
We can achieve our goals. There are no significant economic or
The report was compiled by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air
Use Management (NESCAUM), a group of government air quality regulators
from 12 mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, and by the Mid Atlantic
Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA). Based in part on case
studies at 14 power plants, it found that emission control costs are
lower than originally expected. The study, "Status Report on NOx:
Control Technologies and Cost Effectiveness," found that NOx
reductions seldom cost more than $1,000 per ton and frequently cost
less than $500 per ton. The primary reason for the lower control costs
is that catalysts are more durable than anticipated. Each year that a
catalyst remains in service beyond its anticipated useful life reduces
costs by $150 to $200 per ton of NOx, according to the report.
Pollution controls at PSE&G's electrical generating facility in Mercer
County, Atlantic Electric's B.L.England power plant in Beesley's
Point, and U.S. Generating's plants in Carney's Point and Swedesboro
were among the 14 sites examined in the analysis of actual costs and
Although the report focuses mainly on power plants in the 12
northeastern states of the OTC region, Shinn said the report is
applicable to power plants nationwide. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) has directed 22 states in the eastern half of
the nation to revise their pollution control plans to reduce by up to
85 percent NOx emissions from coal power plants. The EPA called for
the pollution reductions based on extensive research by the Ozone
Transport Assessment Group (OTAG) that revealed NOx emissions from
power plants travel hundreds of miles on prevailing winds.
The New Jersey DEP estimates about one-third of the state's summertime
air pollution originates in other states, with large coal power plants
being the largest sources.
"Air pollution isn't only a New Jersey problem or a Northeast problem,
it's a national problem," said Shinn. "These new regulations will
reduce emissions in New Jersey, fulfilling our commitment to meet
federally mandated reductions in summer smog levels. New Jersey is
doing its part, and this report shows others states can too."
The new DEP rule will reduce New Jersey's stationary source NOx
emissions by more than 80 percent from the 1990 levels by the year
2003, and establish an emissions trading program to minimize costs.
The rule has undergone extensive review by regulated industries and
environmentalists. The DEP conducted many workgroup meetings to
develop the proposal and related guidance documents. When implemented,
the regulations will ultimately reduce NOx emission levels to about
8,200 tons a year, down from more than 45,000 tons in 1990.
Shinn was instrumental in developing the OTAG memorandum of agreement,
which recognizes that pollutants from the Midwest travel on wind
currents and contribute to air quality problems in the Northeast.
Ozone is a health threat to children, the elderly and those with
The comprehensive report released today was prepared by professional
consultants overseen by NESCAUM and MARAMA.