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Lessons from Phase 2 Compliance with the U.S. Acid Rain Program


  • A. Denny Ellerman


The acid rain provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, included in Title IV, required fossil-fuel-fired electricity generating units to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 50% in two phases. In the first, known as Phase I and extending from 1995 through 1999, generating units of 100 MWe of capacity and larger, having an SO2 emission rate in 1985 of 2.5 lbs. per million Btu (#/mmBtu) or higher, were required to take a first step and to reduce SO2 emissions to an average of 2.5 #/mmBtu during these transitional years. Phase II, which began in 2000 and continues indefinitely, expanded the scope of the program by including all fossil-fuel-fired generating units greater than 25 MWe and increased its stringency by requiring affected units to reduce emissions to an average emission rate that would be approximately 1.2 #/mmBtu at average annual heat or Btu input in 1985-87, and that would be proportionately lower for increased total fossil-fuel fired heat input.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Denny Ellerman, 2003. "Lessons from Phase 2 Compliance with the U.S. Acid Rain Program," Working Papers 0309, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mee:wpaper:0309

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