Site loading image

Regulatory Update

New York State Proposes Emissions Limits for Power Generators

Michael Keller | March 22, 2019

NYSDEC’s NOx limits were finalized in January 2020. Read more here.

On February 27, 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released a proposed rulemaking limiting nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from existing simple cycle and regenerative peaking combustion turbines with a nameplate capacity of 15 megawatts (MW) or greater during the ozone season (May 1 – October 31).

Under the proposed rule, NOx limits would be phased in starting on May 1, 2023 and fully implemented on May 1, 2025. There are more than 125 affected units, a majority of which are in the densely populated areas of the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island. The NYSDEC expects most of the affected units will be retired or replaced.

Power generators would be required to submit a plan for compliance with the rule by March 2, 2020 and address any potential electric system reliability issues. If the regional power transmission grid operator, the New York Independent System Operator, identifies a unit as a “reliability resource,” that unit may be given a two-year extension. At a minimum, the compliance plan must contain the following information:

  • Nameplate capacity
  • Ownership
  • A list of each emission source and identifiers such as facility number, source number, and name
  • A schedule outlining how the owner or operator will comply with the requirements set forth in the rule
  • Which emission sources will install controls and what those controls will be
  • Which emission sources will be replaced or repowered

All simple cycle combustion turbines (SCCTs) would need to meet a NOx emission limit of 100 ppm by May 1, 2023 (alternatively, this may be met by averaging only SCCTs on a facility-wide basis). Gaseous fuel fired SCCTs would need to meet a NOx emission limit of 25 ppm by May 1, 2025. Oil or liquid fuel fired SSCTs would need to meet a NOx emission limit of 42 ppm by May 1, 2025.

Additional compliance options other than meeting the proposed limits include:

  • Having an enforceable permit condition written into the operating permit that would not allow the affected unit to operate during the ozone season.
  • Meeting an average output-based emission limit (that includes electric storage and/or renewable energy resources) on a daily average basis with the caveat that the electric storage and/or renewable energy resources must be under common control with the affected SSCT and must serve the same community as the affected SCCT.

Affected units that don’t use a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) will need to perform a NOx emissions compliance stack test and submit test protocols and test reports to the NYSDEC for approval.

Owners and Operators have several options to prepare for this new stringent regulation:

  1. Meet limits as proposed.
  2. Not run SCCT during ozone season, which will require facility owners to revise their operating permits.
  3. Retirement of SCCT, which will require owners to evaluate issues related to abatement, decommissioning, demolition, site restoration and redevelopment.
  4. Replacement of SCCT with new SCCT.
  5. Retrofit SCCT with control technology.
  6. Potential replacement of SCCT with electric battery storage and/or renewable energy resources, which will require an owner to secure permits and approvals in New York either through the Article 10 or SEQRA licensing process.

The public comment period for this proposed rulemaking is open through May 20, 2019. TRC will continue to monitor developments to keep our clients informed and prepared to meet compliance obligations.

Download our Fossil Generation brochure to learn more about our permitting, air management and retirement, retrofit and replacement solutions.

For more information about the impact of the proposed regulation, or to learn more about how TRC can help you comply, please contact Michael Keller, Principal- Power Generation and Air Quality.

TRC Default Image
Michael Keller

Michael Keller is a Principal – Power Generation and Air Quality in TRC’s Planning, Permitting and Licensing Practice. He has more than 19 years of technical and project management experience encompassing PSD/NSR air quality modeling and permitting predominantly for fossil fuel fired power generation clients. He has been involved in the permitting of over 6,000 MW of simple cycle, combined cycle and coal-fired power generation projects in the northeast and provided environmental support through critical issues analyses, dispersion modeling, emission estimates and regulatory outreach for both independent power producers and electric utilities. Contact Michael at

By clicking "Accept", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Read our Privacy Policy.