Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Clean Air Markets

Emissions Tracking Highlights

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's About PDF page to learn more about PDF, and a link to the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

EPA regularly posts updates of quarterly sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions data from coal-fired power plants subject to the Acid Rain Program (ARP) and/or the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) to make it easy for the public to track changes in emissions from these sources. Prices of SO2 and NOX allowances under CAIR have been relatively low since 2008 and this has raised concerns that coal-fired units could “backslide” on emission reductions. For example, units could burn dirtier fuels, operate scrubbers or SCRs at reduced efficiency, or even bypass scrubbers or SCRs altogether, relying instead on banked allowances to comply with ARP and CAIR. EPA is tracking SO2 and NOX emissions closely each quarter to assess whether backsliding may be occurring and, if so, where it may be taking place. All of the data presented here are also available in Air Market Program Data (AMPD). Preliminary data show that while a few facilities are emitting more SO2 and/or NOx or emitting SO2 and/or NOx at a greater rate in the first three quarters of 2014 than in the same period in 2013, overall emissions are essentially unchanged.

On July 6, 2011, the EPA finalized a rule known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to replace CAIR. The timing of CSAPR's implementation has been affected by a number of court actions. On December 30, 2011, CSAPR was stayed prior to implementation. On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion reversing an August 21, 2012 D.C. Circuit decision that had vacated CSAPR. Following the remand of the case to the D.C. Circuit, EPA requested that the court lift the CSAPR stay and toll the CSAPR compliance deadlines by three years. On October 23, 2014, the D.C. Circuit granted EPA's request. Accordingly, CSAPR Phase 1 implementation is now scheduled for 2015, with Phase 2 beginning in 2017.

Annual Data and Long Term Data

The data presented here compare emissions, emission rates, and heat input from coal-fired power plant units in the ARP and CAIR. These files graphically and spatially compare annual emission data from 2012 with 2013 as well as presenting long-term data at the facility level. The data presented here are final data for 2012 and 2013.

Interactive Motion Charts:

Top of Page

Quarterly Data: 2012 vs. 2013 (Quarters 1, 2 and 3)

Interactive map of emissions for the United States
The data presented here compare emissions, emission rates, and heat input from coal-fired power plant units in the ARP and CAIR. These files graphically and spatially compare quarterly emission data from 2013 with data for the same quarter from 2014. The data presented here are final for 2013 and preliminary data for 2014 that are currently under review. As data are reviewed and verified, these materials will be updated.
Interactive Motion Charts:
  • Quarterly Coal-fired SO2 Emissions, SO2 Emission Rates and Heat Input, 2013 vs. 2014
  • Quarterly Coal-fired NOx Emissions, NOx Emission Rates and Heat Input, 2013 vs. 2014
  • Top of Page

    Coal-fired Characteristics and Controls: 2013

    The data presented here provide emissions, heat input, capacity, on-line year, emission controls, program applicability, addresses, and additional identifying information for coal-fired power plant units, regardless of their inclusion in the Acid Rain Program. These files contain data current as of 2012.

    The data show the percent of coal-fired units, generating capacity, and generation with advanced emission controls.

    Top of Page

    Changes in Control Technologies at Coal-Fired Units: 2000-2015

    SO2 emissions from 2000-2014

    The following figures display where particular control technologies have been installed between 2000 to 2012 as well as what technologies EPA anticipates will be installed in 2014 and 2015 based on the information obtained from major company contacts and industry sources.

    The data show that more and more coal-fired units are installing advanced controls, such as scrubbers, which are dramatically reducing pollution across the country.

    Video tutorial of interactive motion charts


    Video Transcript (PDF) (2 pp, 34K)

    Top of Page

    Jump to main content.