New Source Review
What You Can Do
There are three ways you can be involved with New Source Review (NSR).
- You can comment on NSR permits.
- You can comment on proposed EPA NSR regulations and EPA actions to approve state and local agency's NSR regulations.
- You can bring enforcement actions against sources that are not complying with their permits.
As a member of the public, you can use the NSR program to ensure that sources are complying with the requirements that apply to them. NSR gives you the opportunity to:
- Comment on and request a public hearing on permits before they are issued.
- Appeal permits issued pursuant to the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The appeal procedures will depend on the state the source is located in. For state-specific information, get in touch with the appropriate contact listed on your state's Permit Contact page, which is available by clicking on your state on the Where You Live page U.S. map.
- Appeal EPA-issued permits or permits issued by state or local agencies that are issuing the permit on behalf of the EPA to the Environmental Appeals Board and the federal courts.
Normally you must comment on the draft permit to appeal it.
Prior to issuing a permit, permitting authorities generally follow these steps:
- Determine if the permit application is complete enough to begin processing it.
- Prepare a draft permit.
- Publish a notice to inform the public of (1) the public comment period (usually 30 days), and (2) the deadline for requesting a public hearing on the draft permit. The notice can be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the source is located or in a State publication, like a State register. Some agencies also post the public notice and other information on their web site.
- Decide whether to revise the draft permit based on the comments received. In some cases the permitting authority may publish a notice and seek comments on the revised permit.
- Issue the permit.
EPA publishes notices of proposed regulations and actions to approve state and local agency's NSR regulations in the Federal Register. The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. Each notice will have information on how to comment on the proposed regulation. The Government Printing Office Federal Register web site offers free access to the Federal Register. We will also post notices of major changes to NSR regulations on the Regulatory Actions section of this web site.
EPA creates a docket for each of these actions. Dockets contain Federal Register notices, support documents, and public comments for regulations the Agency publishes and various non-regulatory activities. These dockets are available from EPA's EDOCKET Web site. The EDOCKET system also allows you to submit comments on actions that are currently open for public comment.How Can I Bring Enforcement Actions Against Sources That Are Not Complying With Their Permits?
You can notify the permitting authority or EPA if you believe a facility did not obtain an NSR permit before constructing or is not complying with their permits. The EPA may refer you to the appropriate state or local agency that handles the type of violation you are reporting. See Environmental Violations web page for more information on reporting violations.
Section 304 of the Clean Air Act allows citizens to sue to enforce many of the Clean Air Act's requirements. Lawsuits may be filed against the source, the state permitting authority, and the EPA. Although written for Title V operating permits, you might find "The Proof is in the Permit" Part Two: Chapter 3 helpful.
For more information on compliance and enforcement see EPA's Compliance and Enforcement web site.