As part of its efforts to develop a voluntary framework to improve cybersecurity in the nation's critical infrastructure, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) posted a draft outline of the document to invite public review and gather comments. The executive order calling for NIST to develop the framework directs the agency to collaborate with the public and private sectors.
Federal Regulation & Policy News
Midwest Energy Emissions signed agreements with two U.S. electric utility companies to perform demonstrations of Midwest Energy Emissions' technology that removes mercury from coal-power plant emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule requires that all coal- and oil-fired power plants in the U.S., larger than 25 MW, must remove roughly 90% of mercury from their emissions by April 16, 2015.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the implementation agreement between the California Independent System Operator (ISO) and PacifiCorp that establishes the scope and schedule for a variety of tasks the parties will undertake to launch an energy imbalance market (EIM) by October 2014. Among its provisions, the implementation agreement sets out procedures for PacifiCorp to pay the ISO a $2.1 million fixed start-up fee to enable PacifiCorp to participate in the ISO’s existing energy imbalance market.
The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it believes proposed rules restricting greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants would make it impracticable to construct any new coal-fired electric generation plant in the United States. The commission urged withdrawal of the EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards under the Clean Air Act, noting that the EPA had recently delayed issuance of its draft New Source Performance Standards, first proposed in March 2012.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) wasn’t required to undertake a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) with respect to the proposed expansion of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, despite the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in 2011. The court stated that most of the lessons learned from the Fukushima experience pertained to public safety matters, which it said were clearly distinguishable from the environmental issues that EIS procedures are intended to address.
American Electric Power received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to separate its Ohio generating assets from its Ohio distribution and transmission operations and transfer these assets to a competitive generation company and regulated affiliates. AEP anticipates implementing corporate separation and the other items in the related filings by Dec. 31, 2013.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the first step in the development of a cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure protection, a set of voluntary standards and best practices to guide industry in reducing cyber risks. Pres.