FERC Seeks Comment on EPA MATS Rule

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday released a white paper that seeks comment on its proposals to “provide a fair, timely and transparent process” for FERC to advise the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on requests for extension of time to comply with its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule.

According to FERC, the EPA’s Dec. 16, 2011, Policy Memorandum on the new rule outlines its approach to the use of administrative orders under the Clean Air Act regarding power plants that will operate in noncompliance with the new rule to address specific and documented concerns about the effects of that noncompliance on the reliability of the bulk power system. Under the Federal Power Act, FERC is the regulatory agency charged with overseeing the reliability of the bulk power system through Commission-approved mandatory and enforceable standards developed by an Electric Reliability Organization with industry stakeholders, it says.

The FERC staff white paper proposes:

  • Each request for an EPA administrative order should be filed with the Commission Secretary’s Office as an informational filing that includes the same information submitted to EPA.
  • FERC’s Office of Electric Reliability will be the lead office in processing all such requests. Commission review would be limited to whether, based on the circumstances presented, there might be a violation of a Commission-approved Reliability Standard.
  • FERC would submit written comments on each request to EPA.
  • There would be no interventions in the FERC process; however, the Commission may, when appropriate, consider comments submitted as part of the informational filing in developing its written comments to EPA.

Comments on the FERC staff white paper (Docket No. AD12-1-000) are due within 30 days of issuance of the Notice or by February 29, 2012.

Source: FERC

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