Job Impact Statement 6 NYCRR Parts 251 and 200
Nature of Impact
The Department is not currently aware of any proposed projects in the State that will be negatively affected by the proposed new 6 NYCRR Part 251, CO2 Performance Standards for Major Electric Generating Facilities. There are currently no permit applications or permit modifications pending before the Department for facilities that would be subject to Part 251 and that would be unable to meet the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limits established in the regulation. Therefore, the proposed Part 251 will not have an adverse impact on employment opportunities at any specific currently proposed projects or facilities.
The proposed rule could potentially impact the installation of new coal-fired or oil-fired electric generating facilities, as well as expansions at existing facilities that utilize coal-firing or oil-firing. New, large-scale, coal-fired or oil-fired electric generating facilities are not expected to be built in the State, for a variety of reasons, even without the promulgation of Part 251. Therefore, Part 251 is not anticipated to have an adverse impact on employment opportunities in the state.
A project sponsor considering construction or expansion of a facility utilizing coal or oil electric generating facility might decide to not go forward with an expansion project utilizing coal or oil, or instead might have to utilize natural gas or some other fuel or technology in order to comply with the CO2 emission limits in Part 251. Likewise, an applicant might decide not to build a new major electric generating facility that would have utilized coal or oil, because such a facility would not be able to comply with the CO2 emission limits in Part 251 without utilizing carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) or some other carbon reduction technology. If a project was not built specifically because of Part 251, then Part 251 may have adverse impacts on employment opportunities in the State, but this is an extremely unlikely scenario.
On the other hand, a coal-fired or oil-fired electric generating facility that is constructed or expanded and subject to Part 251 would have to employ a new advanced technology such as CCS. This might create more jobs for an area, based on the level of controls needed to achieve compliance with the proposed CO2 emission standards. By utilizing CCS or some other new carbon reduction technology, the project would likely require more employees than a conventional facility without such technology. Therefore, under this potential scenario, the proposed rule could actually have a slight positive impact on employment opportunities in New York State. Similarly, the biomass-fired facilities, waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, or other facilities subject to a case-specific CO2 emission limit under Part 251, the installation of the most stringent existing control technologies and operating efficiencies may require additional employees as compared to a higher emitting or less efficient facility. In any case, Part 251 is unlikely to adversely impact employment opportunities in the state.
Categories and Numbers of Employment Opportunities Affected
Existing electric generating facilities that continue to operate under current permits will not be subject to additional requirements through this rulemaking and thus there should not be any adverse impact to employment opportunities for these facilities as a result of proposed Part 251. Should the facility owner or operator decide to expand their electric generating facility, with regard to plant design and fuel selection, new construction and additional labor force may be needed in order to meet the requirements of this regulation, especially in regards to implementing CCS or other advanced carbon reduction technology. This would create job opportunities in the area the plant is located.
Regions of Adverse Impact
Because the Department is not currently aware of any proposed projects that would be subject to Part 251 and unable to meet the CO2 emission limits established in the regulation, the Department is unable to specify which regions of the State may be impacted by the proposed regulation. Any potential positive or adverse impacts on job opportunities would be focused on the region in which an electric generating facility is proposed, including the region in which any potential CCS is utilized in order to comply with Part 251. Therefore, any region located in New York State may or may not be adversely impacted by this proposed regulation.
Minimizing Adverse Impact
The proposed regulation establishes specific CO2 emission standards for base load fossil fuel-firing emission sources and fossil fuel-firing peaking emission sources, as well as a case-specific CO2 emission limit for any other affected emission source. The rule only applies to new facilities, or to increases in capacity of at least 25 MW at existing facilities, and therefore allows ample time to design systems that comply with applicable emission limits. Also, the rule has been designed such that it can be met by electric generating systems that are commercially available. In particular, the CO2 emission standards for base load facilities can be met by natural gas-firing combined cycle plants, and the standard was established with an allowance for minimal oil-firing (up to 45 days). Likewise, the CO2 emission standards for peaking emission sources were established with an allowance for up to 100 percent oil-firing. Because most of the new electric generating facilities anticipated to be built in the State are already of a type that would comply with Part 251, any adverse impact will be minimized. For facilities subject to a case-specific CO2 emission standard, the proposed emission limit must achieve the maximum degree of reduction for new sources and shall not be less stringent than the emission control or operating efficiency that is achieved in practice by the best controlled similar source(s).