EPA’s new water, waste, and air regulations complicate power plant compliance.
Miranda Yost is an attorney in Hunton & Williams LLP’s Richmond office. Her practice focuses on environmental law and regulation.
As if the constantly evolving requirements of the Clean Air Act and developing waste regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act aren’t challenging enough for the electric power industry, new requirements under the Clean Water Act will add to the burden. Moreover, some air and waste requirements will complicate compliance with new water rules and vice-versa.
A media-specific approach to environmental regulation and associated power industry compliance efforts might result in failure to address, or even identify, significant cross-media rulemaking implications. Failure to consider the complex, cross-media implications of these rules presents further risks of noncompliance.
Exploring these cross-media implications, with a more detailed focus on two key developing water regulations, reveals the need for an industry-led initiative to navigate these challenges and pursue potential opportunities for streamlining water, air, and waste requirements for electric generating units, such as a single “cluster rule.” Executives and policymakers involved in environmental compliance by electric power plants should look to the future now to minimize risks and maximize efficient resource allocation.