MATS compliance now, with flexibility for the future.
Kevin Crapsey is vice president of corporate strategy and development at Eco Power Solutions.
Many in the power generation industry are still scratching their heads one year into the glide path for compliance with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) issued in February 2012. With only two (or three) years remaining, most utility executives are still trying to figure out how to comply, rather than deploying solutions. Whether they view MATS as a target on the industry’s back or an opportunity to save the environment for future generations, it’s an industry reality. So how does the industry balance this reality with its responsibility to serve consumers and earn a profit for investors?
Emission control technologies have been helping the power generation industry reduce its pollution output since the Clean Air Act of 1990. The myriad methods and technologies applied to date have significantly reduced plant emissions, with a 27 percent decrease in particulate matter (PM) 2.5 between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, MATS puts power plants on a strict three-year timeline to reduce emissions of heavy metals (including mercury, arsenic, chromium, and nickel) and acid gases; and EPA updates to the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules require power plants to periodically revisit their control strategies.