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Summary of the EPA Regulations
• July 2005 Regional Haze rule requires that states submit state implementation plans (“SIPs”) to address regional
haze visibility impairment in 156 federally-protected parks and wilderness areas. Among other things, the EPA
regulations require states over approximately a 50 year period to eliminate man-made impacts on visibility in federally
protected parks and wilderness areas around the United States.
• OG&E has seven generation units (4 coal-fired and 3 gas-fired units) that are subject to the Best Available Retrofit
Technology (“BART”) requirement of the rule. There are two pollutants that are factors in Regional Haze for OG&E:
SO2 and NOx.
• Oklahoma filed a SIP that found scrubbers (for the control of SO2 emissions) not to be cost-effective under the rule.
The SIP concluded that the costs of scrubbers was too high and the benefit too low.
• Oklahoma concluded that low NOx burners for the control of NOx was appropriate and developed a more flexible
solution for the control of SO2 emissions that provided optionality to OG&E, minimized the rate impact on customers
and retained increased natural gas usage as an alternative.
• EPA approved the Oklahoma solution for controlling NOx emissions with low NOx burners, but rejected the portion of
the SIP related to SO2 emission controls. The EPA directed OG&E to meet the SO2 emission limits within 5 years.
These limits can be met by either installing scrubbers on 4 coal units or switching those units to natural gas.
•OG&E has filed a petition for reconsideration and a requests for an administrative stay with the EPA. OG&E has also
filed a petition for review in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and plans to requests a judicial stay of the FIP this month.
Regional Haze Compliance Alternatives
Low NOx Burners:
• 4 coal units and 3 gas units BART eligible for NOx
•4 Regional Haze-affected coal units BART eligible for SO2
Other Potential Compliance Options:
•Dry Sorbent Injection (“DSI”) 5 coal unit installations
Pros – could be significantly less expensive than scrubbers for removal of SO2.
Cons – may not fully achieve the Regional Haze SO2 emission limits; further testing needed to fully
understand technology and the impact on the units. There is also uncertainty on the effect on PM
emissions and fly ash.
•Convert or Replace with Natural Gas
Pros – likely the most politically expedient option
Cons – more expensive than scrubbers in the long run and forces us to become completely
vulnerable to the price volatility of natural gas.
Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT)/
Hazardous Air Pollutant Rule
•On December 16, 2011, the EPA signed the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT)
regulations governing emissions of certain hazardous air pollutants from electric generating units.
•The final rule includes numerical standards for particulate matter (as a surrogate for toxic metals),
hydrogen chloride and mercury emissions from coal-fired boilers.
•Compliance is required within three years after the effective date of the rule (April 16, 2012) with a
possibility of a one year extension.
•HCl (acid gas) emission limits – OG&E has identified three feasible ways to meet the limits: (i)
installation of scrubbers on five coal units, (ii) installation of DSI on five coal units; (iii) switching to
natural gas. It is possible that only low levels of DSI would be required to meet the acid gas limits.
While the capital costs of DSI installation would be the same, lower level of DSI use would mean
lower fixed and variable O&M costs. This would create a lower impact on the average residential
•Mercury emission limits – installation of Activated Carbon Injection (“ACI”) is the standard
technology for meeting the mercury limits.
•Particulate Matter (“PM”) emission limits – the need for control technology is uncertain.
Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR)
•On July 7, 2011, the EPA finalized its Cross-State Air Pollution rule. The final rule requires 27 states to
reduce power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and particulate matter pollution in other states.
Oklahoma was originally included in an earlier version of the CSAPR rule because of a modeled impact
on Texas, but was omitted from the final rule.
•On December 27, 2011, the EPA published a final supplemental rule which makes six additional states,
including Oklahoma, subject to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule for NOx emissions during the ozoneseason from May 1 through September 30.
•The basis for OG&E’s inclusion in the supplemental rule is based on air emission modeling that shows
Oklahoma sources impacting a single county in Michigan; a county that actually is currently in attainment
with the ambient air quality standards.
•Under the rule, OG&E would be required to reduce ozone-season NOx emissions from its electrical
generating units within the state beginning in 2012.
•On December 30, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay of the rule and requested proposals for
accelerated briefing to allow the merits of the case to be heard by April 2012. Just recently, EPA has
stated that the supplemental rule applicable to Oklahoma is included in the stay of the main CSAPR rule.
Cross State Air Pollution Rule Compliance
•If the rules stand, OG&E believes that compliance would be difficult within the timelines proposed by
•Compliance would likely require accelerating the installation of low NOx burners.
•There are signs that the EPA may relax some of the compliance deadlines for this rule. If that is the
case, it may be possible to achieve compliance through the installation of low NOx burners without having
to engage in non-economic dispatch of our units or purchasing power and allowances.
• If EPA does not relax the compliance deadlines, OG&E may be faced with altering the economic
dispatch of our generating units during peak periods and/or purchasing large volumes of purchased
power or purchased allowances (assuming that allowances are available for purchase) until those low
NOx burners are installed and operating.
•Also, because all other generating units in Oklahoma and in the region are grappling with this rule and
other rules, the availability of purchased power and allowances has not been ascertained and the
potential cost of this option has not been identified.
Other Environmental Regulations
Air – Potential changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”)
•There are currently no areas of Oklahoma that are in nonattainment with any of the existing NAAQS for criteria
•Revised NAAQS could cause parts of Oklahoma to be redesignated as non-attainment. If an area is redesignated
as nonattainment for a NAAQS, existing sources could be required to reduce emissions of NOx, volatile organic
compounds and/or SO2 by approximately 2017 or later.
•The reductions required for existing facilities could create a need for OG&E to install scrubbers, SCRs, and/or
Water – Proposed Cooling Water Intake Structure Rules (Section 316b of the Clean Water Act)
•Section 316(b) of the Federal Clean Water Act requires that their location, design, construction and capacity reflect
the "best available technology" for minimizing their adverse environmental impact via the impingement and
entrainment of aquatic organisms.
•In March 2011, the EPA proposed rules to implement Section 316(b) and, on August 18, 2011, OG&E filed
comments with the EPA on the proposed rules. OG&E anticipates that the proposed rules will be finalized in mid to
•Once the EPA promulgates the final rules, OG&E may incur additional capital and/or operating costs to comply with
them. The costs of complying with the final water intake standards are not currently determinable, but, if the more
stringent requirements are finalized, the costs could be significant. When these rules are finalized, OG&E will again
have to choose whether to invest new capital in existing units whose lives and continued use could be significantly
affected by other rules.
Other Environmental Regulations continued
Waste – Coal Ash Proposed Rules
•EPA is seeking to establish federal regulations designed specifically for the management of Coal Combustion
•The two primary regulatory options that EPA is considering include (i) the regulation of CCRs under the hazardous
waste regulations of Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”); and (ii) the regulation of
CCRs as a non-hazardous solid waste under Subtitle D of RCRA.
•If EPA decides to regulate CCRs under its hazardous waste regulations, there could be overwhelming compliance
problems at OG&E’s coal-fired generating stations. It could potentially affect OG&E ash handling systems, storage
areas and surface impoundments. Such a final rule could also lead to an inability to market the fly ash for beneficial
uses and more disposal in landfills.
•On November 19, 2010, OG&E submitted comments on the proposed rule. OG&E is currently evaluating how this
proposed rule, if finalized, would impact OG&E’s existing and future units.
These potential other air, water and waste rules complicate the decision-making process for
Regional Haze, MACT and CSPAR, as the uncertainty of these rules and their potential costs could
change OG&E’s level of investment in certain existing units.
EPA Rulemaking Schedule
March 22, 2011
May 23, 2011
December 28, 2011
5 years from effective date of the
May 3, 2011
August 4, 2011
December 16, 2011
3 years from effective date of final
rule (possible 1 year extension)
August 2, 2010
September 6, 2010
August 8, 2011
Beginning in January 2012
July 11, 2011
August 22, 2011
December 27, 2011
Beginning in May 1, 2012
April 20, 2011
August 18, 2011
July 27, 2012
As soon as practical, but within 8
Coal Ash Rule
June 21, 2010
November 19, 2010
Varies depending on option and
Deadlines for emission reductions
vary depending on pollutant and
designation. Generally after SIP
review and approval: ~2017