Numerous regulations issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the years affect electricity generation resources across the MISO footprint. As an independent system operator, we do not take policy positions on EPA regulations. Instead, we work with our stakeholders to analyze how EPA regulations might affect generation, load and resource adequacy, among other things, in MISO’s footprint. We make our analyses available to stakeholders in an effort to help these impacted parties discover the most appropriate compliance solutions for EPA regulations that impact our industry.
EPA Proposal to Reduce CO2 Emissions
On June 2, 2014, EPA unveiled a draft regulation to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions from existing power plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels. Promulgated under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, EPA calls its draft regulation the Clean Power Plan.
MISO Analysis of EPA’s Proposal to Reduce CO2 Emissions
Find detailed information about our analysis of EPA’s proposed carbon standards for existing power plants.
Other Major EPA Regulations
In addition to EPA’s proposal to reduce CO2 EPA has finalized or proposed four other major regulations with significant implications for generators and other entities in MISO’s footprint:
- Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS): This regulation is designed to reduce emissions of mercury and other so-called “air toxics” from generating units that burn coal and oil.
- Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR): This regulation, designed to prevent emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from power plants, affects 28 Eastern and Midwestern states — including some MISO-member states — from causing air-quality problems in downwind states.
- Cooling Water Intake Structures Rule: This regulation, known as the “316(b)” rule in reference to a particular section of the federal Clean Water Act, intends to protect fish and other aquatic organisms from entering the cooling water intake systems at power plants.
- Coal Ash Rule: This regulation governs the disposal of coal combustion residuals, or coal ash, from coal-fired power plants.
Through our EPA Impact Analysis, we studied the aggregate impacts of these four EPA regulations in a comprehensive study released in October 2011. Our study revealed that these four regulations placed nearly 13 GW of coal-fired generation in the MISO footprint “at risk of retirement” in years 2015 and 2016.
While many EPA regulations do not directly affect MISO, they may impact energy prices, market design, generation portfolios, grid reliability. As the entity responsible for ensuring the reliability delivery of energy to over 42 million people, we are committed to providing our stakeholders with the data and analyses necessary to help them determine the best solutions for EPA compliance.
Access our EPA related analyses, studies and surveys designed to help our stakeholders discover potential impacts and EPA compliance alternatives.
Discussions regarding the impacts of greater reliance on natural gas in the electricity industry primarily occur in the Electric and Natural Gas Coordination Task Force (ENGTF). The Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) hosts discussions related to EPA regulation compliance. Register to attend PAC or ENGTF meetings via the Event Calendar