Impact of New EPA Regulations on Long-Term Production of DTE

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Executive Summary

At the end of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed several new laws and regulations that are vast and significant, and which place much stricter limits on the emissions of coal-fired power plants. The laws include amendments to the Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) which primarily limit the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides. The new standards will force utilities to make large modifications to their fleet in order to remain operational and competitive. To remain successful in the face of these challenges, DTE must stay on top of the new regulations and act proactively. This report reviews these regulations and the accompanying consequences, and makes recommendations that will help DTE decide how to act in its best interest and in the best interest of its customers.
To assess the impact these new standards will have on DTE and what measures can be taken to accommodate the changes, extensive research was conducted on the relevant issues, largely through the Department of Energy and the EPA. Interviews were also conducted with a professor from Wayne State University and an engineer currently working at DTE. The major results from this research shows that, for the short term at DTE: Scrubbers are still the most promising way of reducing emissions of compounds like sulfur dioxide.
The use of coal with naturally lower levels of pollutants is a very viable way of reducing overall emissions.
In the long term, however, this report shows that DTE and other utility companies will ultimately have to shut down old plants because it is not economically viable to retrofit them with the newest technology required by the Maximum Achievable Control Technology law. Utilities will also have to more carefully decide which plants produce power and when. Maximizing the production time of the most efficient plants and minimizing the plants which produce a lot



Bibliography: Anderson, D. (2012, April 17). EPA Regulations on Coal Power Plants. (J. Khami, Interviewer) Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency. (2012, February 7). Laws and Regulations. Retrieved March 27, 2012, from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/hg/regs.htm EREN M.J. Bradley & Associates LLC. (2011). Public Utility Commission Study. EPA Database , 30. Mark L. Johnson, H.-Y. L. (2007). Preventing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants using environmentally preferable coal purchasing practices. Journal of Cleanre Production , 3-5. National Energy Technology Laboratory. (2010). Impacts of TMDLs on Coal-Fired Power Plants. Information Bridge (DOE) , 23-25, 53-56, 63-66. Stephen A. Johnson, C. C. (2008). Waste Coal Fines Reburn for NOx and Mercury Emmission Reduction. Information Bridge (DOE) , 3-15.

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