Clean Power Plan (CPP)

On Aug. 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Clean Power Plan, a rule that requires states to develop and implement a plan that will reduce carbon dioxide (CO­2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The Clean Power Plan is part of a comprehensive federal program to mitigate climate change.

What the Clean Power Plan Means for Arizona

The Clean Power Plan requires states to adopt standards that will result in achievement of the CO­2 emission reduction goals established by EPA. States have until Sept. 6, 2016, to transmit a final plan or an “initial submittal” to EPA. If EPA approves the initial submittal, the deadline for submitting a final plan is extended to Sept. 6, 2018.

The proposed Clean Power Plan would have required Arizona to achieve a 52 % reduction in the CO2 emissions rate for affected power plants and to achieve about 90 % of that reduction by 2020. The reduction for Arizona was much more stringent than the reductions proposed for our neighbors in the West and was among the most severe imposed on any state. As a result, at least in part, of extensive comments and technical data submitted by ADEQ and Arizona stakeholders, EPA lowered the CO­2 emission rate to 34 %, and established a much more gradual timeline for achieving that reduction.

Arizona’s Approach to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

In response to EPA’s Clean Power Plan, ADEQ’s Air Quality Division initiated a process that included stakeholders in the research and decision-making:

Phase III:  Phase III began on Aug. 3, 2015, when the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan Rule to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants and was originally scheduled to end on Sept. 6, 2016, the date an initial submittal was due. However, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the rule’s effectiveness on Feb. 9, 2016. ADEQ has decided to slow, but not stop, work on the Clean Power Plan. Learn more about Clean Power Plan Stakeholder Process Phase III > 

Phase II: After Phase I comments were submitted and EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan in 2015, ADEQ worked with stakeholders to develop a menu of compliance options. Learn more about Clean Power Plan Stakeholder Process Phase II > 

Phase I: First, ADEQ held a series of meetings with affected carbon dioxide sources, the Arizona Corporation Commission, and other stakeholders to discuss the proposed Clean Power Plan and receive feedback. Comments developed from those meetings were submitted to EPA in 2014. Learn more about Clean Power Plan Stakeholder Process Phase I >