Annual Nitrogen Oxides Figures
Source: EPA, 2020
Last updated: 04/2020
- Annual NOₓ emissions have declined dramatically under the ARP, CAIR, and CSAPR programs, with most reductions coming from coal-fired units. These reductions have occurred while electricity generation has remained relatively stable since 2000.
- These emission reductions are a result of an overall increase in the environmental efficiency at affected sources as power generators installed controls, ran their controls year-round, switched to lower emitting fuels, or otherwise reduced their NOₓ emissions. These trends are discussed further in Chapter 1.
- Other programs – such as regional and state NOₓ emission control programs – also contributed significantly to the annual NOₓ emission reductions achieved by sources in 2019.
Annual NOₓ Emissions Trends
- ARP: Units in the ARP NOₓ program emitted 858 thousand tons of NOₓ emissions in 2019. Sources reduced emissions by 7.2 million tons from the projected level in 2000 without the ARP, over three times the program’s NOₓ emission reduction objective.
- CSAPR and ARP: In 2019, the fifth year of operation of the CSAPR NOₓ annual program, sources in both the CSAPR NOₓ annual program and the ARP together emitted 877 thousand tons, a reduction of 5.5 million tons (86 percent reduction) from 1990 levels, 4.3 million tons (83 percent reduction) from 2000, and 2.8 million tons (76 percent reduction) from 2005 levels.
- CSAPR: Emissions from the CSAPR NOₓ annual program sources were 487,000 tons in 2019. This is about 1.8 million tons (79 percent) lower than in 2005 and 582,000 tons (54 percent) below the CSAPR NOₓ annual program's 2019 regional budget of 1,069,256 tons.
Annual NOₓ State-by-State Emissions
- CSAPR and ARP: From 1990 to 2019, annual NOₓ emissions in the ARP and the CSAPR NOₓ program dropped in 46 states plus Washington, D.C. by a total of approximately 5.5 million tons. In contrast, annual emissions increased in two states (Idaho and Oregon) by 867 tons from 1990 to 2019.
- CSAPR: All 22 states had emissions below their CSAPR 2019 allowance budgets, collectively by 582,000 tons.
Annual NOₓ Emission Rates
- In 2019, the ARP and CSAPR average annual NOₓ emission rate was 0.08 lb/mmBtu, a 70 percent reduction from 2005.
- Emissions have decreased dramatically since 2005, due in large part to greater use of control technology, primarily on coal-fired units, and increased generation at natural gas-fired units that emit less NOₓ emissions than coal-fired units.
Nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) are made up of a group of highly reactive gases that are emitted from power plants and motor vehicles, as well as other sources. NOₓ emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particle pollution, which cause a variety of adverse health effects.