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MATS successful despite uncertain legality

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World Coal,

Data from SNL Energy show that many generators in the US have moved ahead with their Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) compliance, despite the possibility that the Supreme Court will rule the standards illegal.

According to the research company, 200 plants – or around 20% of the US generating capacity – have been granted extensions to comply with the rule, mostly in order to complete installation of mercury controls.

The rules compliance deadline initially fell in April of this year, meaning that utilities had to make the necessary decisions around compliance years previously due to the long lead time on environmental compliance projects.

"I think that's one of the real problems with the way this whole system works," Jeff Holmstead, an industry attorney for Bracewell & Giuliani, told SNL Energy earlier this year. "It is kind of a shame there's a rule that may be illegal but people have to comply with it."

The infographic below provides a breakdown of environmental control projects occurring at power plant units that have received up to an extra year to comply with MATS. Currently, units with a combined capacity of 26 082 MW are undergoing installation of flue gas.

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