EPA’s Good Neighbor Plan Requires Significant NOx Emission Reductions by Missouri

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the final version of its Good Neighbor Plan last week to mitigate air pollution levels. The plan focuses on reducing nitrous oxide emissions by industrial facilities and power plants. The EPA order requires action on the part of 23 states and takes direct aim at Missouri, which failed to meet air quality standards established by the Clean Air Act of 2015.

Under the plan, the Show Me State must reduce its nitrous oxide emissions by 11,230 tons before 2027. The order also requires Missouri industrial facilities to cut emissions by 2,065 tons before 2026. The EPA squarely places blame on the state’s power plant sector, alleging large scale industrial equipment is the culprit. The report further alleges that neighboring states are experiencing difficulty in meeting their clean air objectives due to the lack of action taken by Missouri.

“Utilities advocated for a do-nothing plan and that’s exactly what they got from our state regulatory agency that is more of a lapdog than (a) watchdog,” said Jenn DeRose, a representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “The EPA’s ozone plan is critical so Missourians and downwind communities can breathe easier.”

Oklahoma Energy Today previously reported that Oklahoma is one of the states required to reduce nitrous oxide emissions as part of the EPA’s Good Neighbor Plan. The plan is troubling for the states required to cut emissions. On February 22, 2022, the EPA proposed to disapprove 19 Good Neighbor State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Alabama subsequently withdrew its SIP submission and resubmitted a SIP submission on June 22, 2022. The EPA proposed to disapprove that SIP submittal on October 25, 2022. The EPA proposed to disapprove Good Neighbor SIP submissions for four additional states (California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming) on May 24, 2022. On January 31, 2023, the EPA Administrator subsequently signed a single disapproval action for all of the above states, with the exception of Tennessee and Wyoming.

With regard to Oklahoma tribal property, the EPA plan proposed a “necessary or appropriate” finding that direct federal implementation of the rule’s requirements is warranted; however, Oklahoma tribes may but are not required to submit tribal plans to implement the new requirements.

A summary and link to the 935-page detailed plan can be found here.