Controlling Power Plant Emissions: Public Comments
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
EPA initially received over 680,000 letters, emails and postcards, including almost 5,000 unique messages, commenting on the Proposed Clean Air Mercury Rule and the Supplemental Clean Air Mercury Rule by the time the public comment period ended on June 29, 2004. As of February 2005, EPA E-Docket shows an actual count of more than 490,000 public comments and close to 4,500 unique comments received. The initial count of 680,000 and 5,000 included duplicate and triplicate e-mails and comments related to other rules.
The proposed Clean Air Mercury Rule was signed on December 15, 2003, and published in the Federal Register on January 30, 2004. Simultaneously, a 60-day public comment period began. During that time, EPA held three public hearings in Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA and Research Triangle Park, NC to provide the public a venue to voice their comments.
On February 24, 2004, Administrator Leavitt signed a supplemental proposal to the Clean Air Mercury Rule that proposed specific aspects for a cap-and-trade program to reduce mercury emissions. When this proposal was published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2004, a 45-day public comment period began. EPA also convened an additional public hearing in Denver, Colorado.
On December 1, 2004, EPA issued a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) summarizing the modeling analyses presented by EPA and the commenters, and soliciting comment on the inputs and assumptions underlying those analyses. The NODA also sought comment on EPA’s benefits assessment. The public comment period closed January 3, 2005
During the public comment period, EPA received numerous requests from stakeholders, state and local governments, environmental groups, and the public to extend the comment period in order to provide them adequate time to review the proposals. In response to these requests, EPA in April extended the public comment period an additional 60 days to June 29, 2004. In order to provide sufficient time to thoroughly consider all of the comments received and incorporate any changes, EPA agreed to delay final action on the rule until March 2005 rather than December 2004.
EPA staff reviewed all comments submitted to the docket. Key issues submitted in the comments included: maximum achievable control technology (MACT) versus cap and trade, allocation levels, regional equity, readiness and availability of technology, and health concerns. Comments were considered and responded to before the rule became final. These responses are included in a Response to Comment document that will be available to the public on this website shortly after the rule is issued.
All of the comments EPA received on the proposals are available for public review online, as explained below. The vast majority of the comments EPA received were duplicates. There were approximately 4,500 unique comments submitted.
To use Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) (http://www.regulations.gov/):
Select the "All Documents" button instead of default "Documents Open for Comment" button.
In the Keyword search box, enter: OAR-2002-0056 and click on the "Submit" button to receive search results.
In the results screen, select the link to OAR-2002-0056.