Petition No. P2006-18

LCB File No. R162-06

Nevada Administrative Code: NAC 445B.001

Description of Petition: Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR): This regulation would amend NAC 445B.001 to 445B.3497 by adding a new program to control air emissions of mercury from coal-fired electric utility steam generating units (EGUs). This action is in response to a federal requirement for states to control annual mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

In May 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR). Under CAMR each state received an annual "mercury emissions" budget from coal-fired EGUs; a nationwide cap was set as well. Nevada was allocated a budget of 570 pounds of mercury per year from 2010 to 2017. From 2018 on, Nevada's budget is 224 pounds per year.

The program developed by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) that is embodied in this regulation proposes to modify the EPA "Cap and Trade" program from CAMR and tailor it to the unique needs of the state. The Nevada CAMR Program will require power plants with coal-fired EGUs to obtain a mercury operating permit to construct. Through the permitting process and beginning in 2010, NDEP will allocate annual mercury emission allowances to existing power plants based on projected actual emissions. Remaining annual allowances from the state budget will be maintained in a pool to be administered by NDEP. The pool will be used for new power plants, for incentive programs and by NDEP to support program needs or allowances that may be retired.

The major objective of Nevada's CAMR Program is to encourage mercury reductions at existing facilities and encourage new facilities to install "Low Emitting Units" or "Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle" units. This is accomplished by offering bonus emission allowances to facilities that install equipment or systems that reduce emissions below their allowance.

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