Emissions Trading Programs

Emissions trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.

The NOX Budget Trading Program (Part I) was the original means by which the board addressed the transport of ozone-generating pollutants--nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2)-- across state lines as required by EPA's NOX SIP Call rule.

The NOX SIP Call was superseded by EPA's Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). Virginia implemented CAIR through Part II (NOX Annual Trading Program), Part III (NOX Ozone Season Trading Program), and Part IV (SO2 Annual Trading Program). 

On July 6, 2011, EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which was intended to replace CAIR.


On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion reversing a D.C. Circuit decision that had vacated CSAPR.  Following the remand of the case to the D.C. Circuit, EPA requested that the court lift the CSAPR stay and toll the CSAPR compliance deadlines by three years, which would allow implementation of Phase 1 to begin for 2015.  On October 23, 2014, the D.C. Circuit granted EPA's motion and provided a schedule for resolving the remaining legal challenges in the case.


Except for the changes in dates, CSAPR will be implemented as is, including the modifications finalized in several supplemental rules.  Phase 1 of CSAPR will begin in 2015, and the owners and operators of units subject to any CSAPR Program must ensure that they comply with all applicable CSAPR requirements.  The Court’s actions also mean 2014 will be the last calendar year in which the CAIR NOX annual, CAIR ozone season, and CAIR SO2 Programs apply.


Please check EPA's CSAPR web page and Clean Air Markets program for current information about the federal program, or contact Beth Major for information about Virginia's program.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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