New clean-air regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency will force electric utilities in the eastern U.S. to spend tens of millions of dollars on pollution-control equipment to trim sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-fired powerplants. Data courtesy of the EPA Map shows clean air rules and policies by state. EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, announced on July 7, requires utilities in 27 states to cut emissions or buy allowances from the market, starting in 2012. Even tougher rules take effect in 2014, when EPA and state actions will require SO emissions to be cut 73% from 2005 levels
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.