CHICAGO (March 29, 2011) - Over the past two weeks, the U.S. EPA has proposed two important and much-anticipated rules affecting the electric generation industry - the Air Toxics Rule under the Clean Air Act and the regulation of cooling water systems under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act. The Air Toxics Rule provides substantial flexibility to install controls over four years and sets standards that can be met by the minority of coal plants that have failed to install pollution controls.
Since the Section 316(b) proposal was just issued, we are still examining the rule. Based upon our initial review, Exelon is encouraged that the rule does not mandate cooling towers as a "one-size-fits-all" technology and allows the consideration of site-specific factors, as well as costs and benefits for some of the rule's requirements. Although some aspects of the rule will require additional analyses, and most likely comment during the public comment period, we commend the EPA for engaging in a collaborative and transparent process as it developed this proposal. We look forward to an ongoing constructive dialogue toward achieving a final rule that meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act in the most cost-effective way.
"Based on our detailed review of the Air Toxics Rule and our preliminary analysis of the Section 316(b) rule, rumors of a â€˜train wreck' caused by new EPA regulations are simply false," said Joseph Dominguez, senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs, public policy and communications for Exelon. "That is not to say that there is not room for additional dialogue, but these discussions need to be guided by sound science, not rhetoric. While each utility may have a different regulatory focus, we all generally agree that regulatory certainty is critical to how we plan for the future. EPA has done a good job listening to the industry and moving the ball forward."