PM2.5 and Electric Power Generation:
Recent Findings and Implications
April 9-10, 2002
Two key documents are currently being prepared by EPA to provide a basis for the determination to maintain or revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM2.5. The "Criteria Document" will summarize the most recent science on health and welfare effects; the "Staff Paper" will discuss policy options in light of that science. Both the Criteria Document and Staff Paper are expected to be available for comment during 2002. EPA is scheduled to designate areas of the U.S. as being in "attainment" or "nonattainment" with the NAAQS for PM2.5 in the 2004-05 time frame. State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for attaining PM2.5 and regional haze standards are scheduled for completion in 2007-08.
In anticipation of these regulatory actions, NETL hosted a conference n April 9-10, 2002, in Pittsburgh, PA entitled: "PM2.5 and Electric Power Generation: Recent Findings and Implications." The conference provided a forum for presenting technical information on (1) the impact of power plant emissions on ambient PM2.5, regional haze, and visible plumes; (2) characterization of power plant emissions of PM2.5 and its precursors; (3) methods for quantifying the relationships between power plant emissions and chemical composition of PM2.5 ; and (4) implications for compliance with current and future air quality regulations, including the NAAQS for PM2.5 , EPA's Regional Haze Rule, plume opacity, and multi-pollutant controls.
The conference was attended by 190 technical, regulatory, and managerial personnel who are responsible for understanding and mitigating the environmental effects of air pollution from power generation facilities. The keynote session of the NETL PM2.5 Conference featured four speakers who are at the forefront of current efforts to integrate science and policy with respect to PM2.5. The keynote session highlighted the remaining scientific questions surrounding PM2.5 and discussed how policy options may be implemented through the legislative/regulatory framework.. EPA representatives indicated that the NAAQS for PM2.5 will probably continue to be based on mass concentration for the foreseeable future. EPA speakers also described the status and likely course of implementation for PM2.5 standards, and the potential role of the Bush Administration's new Clear Skies Initiative to provide a new regulatory baseline for power generation.
In the conference's technical sessions, over 40 oral presentations and 15 posters examined the relationship between power plant emissions and the concentrations and composition of ambient fine particles. Technical session topics included analysis of ambient monitoring data, emissions characterization, atmospheric chemistry, and air quality modeling. Research presented in the technical sessions provided further insight regarding the contribution of power plants toward the concentrations and chemical composition of ambient PM2.5.
NETL Conference Services Information
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Phone: (412) 386-6044
FAX: (412) 386-6486