美國環保署將制訂發電廠與煉油廠的溫室氣體排放標準 | 環境資訊中心

美國環保署將制訂發電廠與煉油廠的溫室氣體排放標準

2010年12月29日
摘譯自2010年12月23日ENS美國,華盛頓特區報導;林可麗編譯;范仕穎審校

火力發電廠是溫室氣體的排放源,此為美國西維吉尼亞州的火力發電廠 ,圖片來自:Allegheny能源公司。美國環保署23日宣佈了一個兩年計畫,規劃將在現有的清淨空氣法(Clean Air Act)下設立兩個產業的溫室氣體排放標準,被規範的產業分別是化石燃料發電廠與煉油廠。

這兩種產業是最大的工業污染源,佔將近40%的全美排放溫室氣體排放量。

今年度一份在去年由眾議院通過的草案進入了參議院,但最後並未獲參院投票支持,草案內容規定了溫室氣體的排放總量,並且建立了排放許可證的市場交易機制。

美國環保署的空氣與輻射辦公室副主任麥卡錫(Gina McCarthy)在23日舉辦的電話會議中向記者表示,美國環保署的法規將不會設立總量管制與交易(cap and trade)計畫。

麥卡錫表示,「這與總量管制與交易無關。希望我們將不會涉及國會在未來將會立法的領域。」

這兩個產業的標準訂定流程分別由兩項法定協議內容所規範,這兩份法定協議是由美國環保署與數個州,當地政府以及對布希當政時期的美國環保署提告的環保組織之間所訂。布希時期的美國環保署因為拒絕依清淨空氣法設立這些產業的溫室氣體排放標準而被提告。

清淨空氣法中要求美國環保署針對特定產業會排放出大量有害污染物的新污染源訂定標準。這些新汙染源執行標準(New Source Performance Standards)設立了新工業設施的污染物排放標準限制,並規範既有工業設施的空氣污染。

美國環保署長傑克森(Lisa P. Jackson)表示,「這些標準將會幫助美國的公司吸引私人的資金投資提升乾淨能源,讓國內產業更有競爭力,並且創造在國內創造優質的工作機會。」

麥卡錫表示環保署承諾會在2011年7月26日之前公布發電廠排放標準的提議草案內容,在2012年5月26日前將會確定法規條文內容。

這個法規時程表是依據與美國各州及一些組織的法定協議內容所要求,包括紐約州、加州、康乃狄克州、德拉瓦州、緬因州、麻州、新墨西哥州、奧瑞岡州、羅德島州、佛蒙特州、華盛敦州、哥倫比亞特區、紐約市,以及非營利機構自然資源保護委員會(Natural Resources Defense Council)、 美國山巒協會(Sierra Club),與環境保衛基金會(Environmental Defense Fund)。

針對煉油廠的法規時程表,美國環保署則是依據另一份法定協議,與上述的各州及自然資源保護委員會、美國山巒協會及環境正義計畫(Environmental Integrity Project)的協議內容訂定。

後續將會制訂這些標準,讓美國環保署有機會從風險與科技層面上,審視現有的煉油廠空氣毒性標準。

美國環保署必須也回應2008年8月25日重訂煉油廠的新汙染源執行標準的連署要求。

美國環保署將會以提議新的法規在2011年12月15日之前解決上述所有的問題,並且在2012年11月15日前確定法規的最後版本。

這份法定協議建立了一份全面的措施,來同時解決不同種類空氣污染物的問題,包括溫室氣體、毒性化學物質,以及六種在空氣清淨法中指定為指標污染物(criteria pollutant)的重大常見空氣污染物。

這份時程表將可以讓環保署在2011年初,也就是在法規制定流程展開之前,召開與業界、各州,與其他利害關係人的聽證會,並在常規的通知與諮詢評論期間之外公開徵求額外的相關意見。

美國石油協會(American Petroleum Institute)的法規與科學事務主任費德曼(Howard Feldman)形容美國環保署的行動「史無前例並且強制脅迫」。

代表超過450家石油與天然資源公司的費德曼說他的組織「希望美國環保署能重新思考一下這份所費不貲並且行不通的溫室氣體法規。清淨空氣法設立的目的從來就不是用來規範溫室氣體排放的固定污染源,國會議員應該訂定的是美國的氣候變遷政策。」

麥卡錫表示,自從清淨空氣法實施以來,美國環保署已經針對不同的產業別設立了75項汙染源執行標準,法案並且允許納入成本、健康、環境衝擊、與能源需求的考量以彈性跟創新的措施進行管理。

美國環保署每8年必須更新這些標準,以因應控制污染的科技革新。

各州如果能夠證明聯邦法律的標準規範成本或是實施上不可行,將可以在當地實施較為寬鬆的標準或是給予廠商較長的時間因應法規。

各州也可以實施比聯邦標準更嚴格的規定或是更短的法規配合期限。

美國環保署在聯邦公報中公佈協議內容後,將會有30天的公開評論期。

麥卡錫說,「這些新標準的訂定目的在於審視現有可取得的科技。這些是標準訂定的過程,並不是決定可以排放多少的二氧化碳。我們尚在初期的規劃階段,目前並沒有辦法明確指出我們將會達到哪些污染物減量的目標。這些目標將會在公開評論期以及聽證會上蒐集意見後較為明確。」

美國山巒協會的執行主任布魯恩(Michael Brune)表示,「已經有太長的一段時間,這些不環保的煤炭火力發電廠,煉油廠,以及其他的大型污染者都把我們的空氣跟水源當成垃圾場,任意排放他們的毒性污染,卻要我們的家庭付出代價。但這是有辦法解決的,現在就有可行的科技能讓我們在成本可負擔的範圍內減低二氧化碳的污染。這些大型的污染者沒有道理不去採取污染減量的技術。」

美國山巒協會的多尼爵(David Doniger)表示,「國會應該要慶祝,而非延遲或是阻擋擬訂能夠保護我們健康的清淨空氣法標準,國會應該讓美國環保署盡他們的責任。」

U.S. EPA to Set Greenhouse Gas Standards for Power Plants, Refineries
WASHINGTON, DC, December 23, 2010 (ENS)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a two-year plan to set greenhouse gas emissions standards under the Clean Air Act for two sectors - power plants fired by fossil fuels and oil refineries.

These sectors are two of the largest industrial sources, emitting nearly 40 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases.

This year, the Senate introduced but failed to approve legislation passed by the House in 2009 setting a cap on greenhouse gases and establishing a trading market for emissions permits.

The EPA's regulations will not set up a cap and trade program, Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation, told reporters on a teleconference today.

"This is not about a cap and trade program," McCarthy said. "We are not getting into an area where Congress will be establishing law at some point in the future, we hope."

The standard-setting process for these two sectors is required by two separate legal settlements between the EPA and several states, local governments and environmental organizations that sued the Bush-era EPA for refusing to set limits on these industries' emissions of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set industry-specific standards for new sources that emit significant quantities of harmful pollutants. These New Source Performance Standards set the level of pollution new facilities may emit and address air pollution from existing facilities.

"These standards will help American companies attract private investment to the clean energy upgrades that make our companies more competitive and create good jobs here at home," Jackson said.

McCarthy said the agency is committed to issuing proposed regulations for power plants by July 26, 2011 and final regulations by May 26, 2012.

That schedule is required by a legal settlement with the states of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York; as well as the nonprofits Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and Environmental Defense Fund.

For refineries, EPA has entered into a separate legal settlement with the same states and local governments and the NRDC, the Sierra Club and Environmental Integrity Project that establishes a different schedule for regulations.

These standards will be set later to give the agency a chance to conduct a risk and technology review of current air toxic standards for refineries.

EPA must also resolve the issues raised in an August 25, 2008 petition for reconsideration of the refinery New Source Performance Standards.

EPA would propose regulations to address all these issues by December 15, 2011 and finalize regulations by November 15, 2012.

This settlement agreement establishes a comprehensive approach of simultaneously addressing different types of air pollution - greenhouse gases, toxics and six common air pollutants designated by the Clean Air Act as "criteria pollutants."

This schedule will allow the agency to host listening sessions with the business community, states and other stakeholders in early 2011, before the rulemaking process begins, as well as to solicit additional feedback during the routine notice and comment period.

American Petroleum Institute Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman called the EPA's action "unprecedented and coercive."

Representing more than 450 oil and natural gas companies, Feldman said his organizaiton "hopes that EPA will reconsider its costly and unworkable greenhouse gas regulations. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to regulate stationary source greenhouse gas emissions, and elected members of Congress should chart U.S. climate change policy."

Since the Clean Air Act was initiated, the EPA has put in place 75 performance standards for various industrial sectors, McCarthy said, adding that the Act allows flexible and innovative approaches that take into account cost, health and environmental impacts, and energy requirements.

Every eight years, EPA must update these standards to reflect improvements in control technologies.

States will be able to apply less stringent standards or longer compliance schedules if they demonstrate that following the federal guidelines is unreasonably cost-prohibitive or physically impossible.

States may also impose more stringent standards or shorter compliance schedules.

EPA will accept public comment on these two agreements for 30 days following publication of notice in the Federal Register.

"This is about taking a look at what technologies are available," said McCarthy. "It's a standard setting process, not determing how much CO2 should be emitted. We're in a really early stage, and I can't tell you what types of reductions we hope to achieve. That will come to our attention through the public comment period and the listening sessions."

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said, "For too long, dirty coal plants, oil refineries and other big polluters have been allowed to use our air and water as dumping grounds for their toxic pollution, and our families are paying the price. But there is a solution. There is technology available today that can affordably reduce carbon pollution. There is no reason why these big polluters shouldn't be using it."

"Congress should celebrate, not delay or block, Clean Air Act standards that protect our health and well-being," said Doniger. "Congress should let EPA do its job."

全文及圖片詳見:ENS報導