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New Source Review

Regulations & Standards

Regulations Currently in Effect

When EPA issues the permits or when another agency issues permits for EPA, 40 CFR 52.21Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

The regulations on what a State Implementation Plan (SIP) must contain for EPA to approve a:

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Adobe PDF files on this page. See EPA's PDF page for more information about getting and using the free Acrobat Reader.

EPA creates regulations as required and authorized by the Clean Air Act (see Laws & Statutes for Clean Air Act requirements). NSR permits have been required by regulations since the 1970's. EPA is working to update and improve the NSR regulations. This page presents the NSR regulations that are currently in effect and shows the ongoing regulatory actions leading up to and following the December 2002 improvements.

 

  2013 2009 2005  
  2012 2008 2004  
  2011 2007 2003  
  2010 2006 2002  
 

2013

Prevention of Significant Deterioration for Fine Particle Pollution – Good Cause Final Rule to Remove Vacated Elements
November 26, 2013 - EPA issued a final rule to remove elements of the Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program for fine particle pollution.

Tribal New Source Review
May 23, 2013 – EPA is proposing revisions to its Federal Plan implementing New Source Review (NSR) requirements for new or modified small industrial facilities that are subject to air permitting requirements and that are located in areas under tribal jurisdiction.


2012

Tribal New Source Review
December 20, 2012 - EPA responds to petitions to reconsider and requests to stay the Tribal New Source Review Rule

Final Revisions to the Implementation of the New Source Review Program for Condensable Particulate Matter
October 12, 2012 - This final clarifies that condensable particulate matter should be included as part of the emissions measurements for regulation of PM2.5 and PM10. The final rule removes the inadvertent requirement in the 2008 PM2.5 NSR Implementation Rule, that measurements of condensable particulate matter be included as part of the measurement and regulation of much larger particles included as "particulate matter emissions."

Final Step 3 for the GHG Tailoring Rule Continues to Focus Permitting on the Largest Emitters
July 3, 2012 - EPA is issuing a final rule that retains the greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting thresholds that were established in Steps 1 and 2 of the GHG Tailoring Rule. These emission thresholds determine when Clean Air Act permits under the New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating Permit programs are required for new and existing industrial facilities.

Proposed Revisions to the Implementation of the New Source Review Program for Condensable Particulate Matter
March 12, 2012 - This proposed rule would clarify that condensable particulate matter should be included as part of the emissions measurements for regulation of PM2.5 and PM10. The proposal would remove the inadvertent requirement in the 2008 PM2.5 NSR Implementation Rule, that measurements of condensable particulate matter be included as part of the measurement and regulation of much larger particles included as "particulate matter emissions."

Proposed Step 3 for the GHG Tailoring Rule Continues to Focus Permitting on the Largest Emitters
February 24, 2012 - EPA is proposing to keep greenhouse gas permitting thresholds at current levels. These thresholds established under the GHG Tailoring Rule, define when permits under the New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration and title V Operating Permit programs are required for new and existing industrial facilities. EPA also is proposing two approaches to streamline the GHG permitting process.


2011

Final Deferral for CO2 emissions from Bioenergy and Other Biogenic Sources under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V
July 1, 2011 - This final rule defers, for a period of three years, greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass-fired and other biogenic sources.

Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country
June 13, 2011 - EPA finalized a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to ensure that Clean Air Act permitting requirements are applied consistently to facilities in Indian country.

Final Rule to Repeal Grandfather Provision
May 10, 2011 - EPA issues a final rule to repeal the grandfather provision for PM2.5 contained in the federal PSD permit program

Final Rule Covering Greenhouse Gas Permitting in Texas
April 22, 2011 - This final rule that ensures businesses in Texas will be able to seek and obtain the air permits needed for new or expanding projects that increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Proposed Deferral for CO2 emissions from Bioenergy and Other Biogenic Sources under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Programs and Guidance for Determining Best Available Control Technology for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Bioenergy Production
March 11, 2011 - This proposed rule would defer, for a period of three years, greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass-fired and other biogenic sources. EPA is also making available a guidance document, Guidance for Determining Best Available Control Technology for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Bioenergy Production, to assist facilities and permitting authorities with permitting decisions until the Proposed Rule is finalized.

A Public Hearing on this Proposed Rule will be held in Washington, DC.

Treatment of Fugitive Emissions in the New Source Review Permitting Program -
Interim Replacement Stay
March 8, 2011 - EPA issued an interim rule to stay a December 2008 rule known as " the Fugitive Emissions Rule." The Fugitive Emissions Rule established new provisions for how fugitive emissions, those that do not pass through a stack, chimney, vent, or other similar opening, should be treated for New Source Review permitting. This stay replaces the stay EPA issued on March 31, 2010, that was to be effective through October 3, 2011.

Greenhouse Gas Permitting Deferred
January 12, 2011 - EPA announces its plan to defer, for three years, greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass-fired and other biogenic sources.

Final Action to Ensure Authority to Issue Permits under the Prevention of Significant
Deterioration Program to Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
Federal Implementation Plan for Jefferson County, Kentucky
January 10, 2011 - EPA finds that the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (LMAPCD) failed to submit a revised state implementation plan to cover GHG permitting for Jefferson County by their selected deadline (January 1, 2011) and is issuing a federal implementation plan (FIP) to giving EPA the authority to issue PSD permits for sources of GHG emissions in Jefferson County, KY until the LMAPCD submits a revised plan that is approved by EPA.

Public Hearing in Dallas Texas on Proposed Actions on Texas Permitting Programs
EPA will hold a public hearing on its proposed partial approval and disapproval of the Texas Prevention of Significant Deterioration State Implementation Plan and Federal Implementation Plan on January 14, 2011.  The public hearing will be held at:

Crowne Plaza Hotel Dallas Downtown,
1015 Elm Street
Dallas, Texas
phone: (214) 742-5678.

The public hearing will convene at 10:00 a.m. and will end at 7:00 p.m. or until the last registered speaker has spoken.

If you would like to present oral testimony at the public hearing, please contact Pamela Long, no later than January 12, 2011.  Contact information:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
Air Quality Planning Division, (C504-03)
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
telephone (919) 541-0641
fax number (919) 541-5509
e-mail address: long.pam@epa.gov (preferred method for registering)

Pre-Registered Speakers (PDF) (5pp, 35k)


2010

Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
On December 23, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a series of rules that put the necessary regulatory framework in place to ensure that 1) industrial facilities can get Clean Air Act permits covering their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when needed and 2) facilities emitting GHGs at levels below those established in the Tailoring Rule do not need to obtain Clean Air Act permits.

December 1, 2010 - Final rule will require certain states to make changes to their state implementation plans to cover greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Clean Air Act permits.These changes will ensure that beginning in January 2011 GHG emissions sources can obtain permits.

Final Rule to Establish Increments, Significant Impact Levels and a Significant Monitoring Concentration for Fine Particle Pollution
September 29, 2010 - EPA has established key components for making PSD permitting determinations for fine particle pollution - increments, significant impact levels (SILs), and a significant monitoring concentration (SMC).

Public Hearing Notice
August 25, 2010 - EPA will hold a hearing on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Clean Air Act permitting of greenhouse gases on September 14, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Public Hearing Postponed
August 23, 2010 - EPA has postponed its public hearing on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Clean Air Act permitting of greenhouse gases. The hearing was scheduled to be held in Washington, DC on August 25, 2010. Details for the rescheduled hearing on our August 12, 2010 action will be published in the Federal Register and posted on this site. EPA will accept comments on this proposal for 30 days after the public hearing is held.

New Source Review and Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards
August 18, 2010 - EPA proposed a rule addressing issues related to when pre-construction permitting requirements under the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program would transition from the 1-hour to the 8-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.

Proposed Rules on Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
August 12, 2010 - EPA proposed two rules to ensure that businesses planning to build new, large facilities or make major expansions to existing ones will be able to obtain New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits that address greenhouse gases (GHG).

Call for Information on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Bioenergy and Other Biogenic Sources
July 10, 2010 - EPA requests public comment and information from interested parties on approaches to accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic sources. This information will be used to develop an approach for such emissions under the GHG Tailoring Rule.

Final GHG Tailoring Rule
May 13, 2010 - EPA sets greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions thresholds to define when permits under the New Source Review Prevention Significant Deterioration (PSD) and title V Operating Permit programs are required for new and existing industrial facilities.

Stay of Aggregation Rule
May 6, 2010 - EPA extended the effective date of the January 15, 2009 final rule that modified the New Source Review air permitting programs policy on Aggregation.

Proposed Action on Aggregation Rule
March 29, 2010 - EPA is proposing to revoke a January 2009 rule that changed the way existing industrial facilities combine upcoming construction projects to determine if Clean Air Act permits are needed. EPA is concerned that these changes to its aggregation policy would make the agencys New Source Review permitting program less effective.

Stay of Fugitive Emissions Rule for 18 Months
March 24, 2010 - EPA has stayed for 18 additional months, the rule establishing how fugitive emissions should be treated for New Source Review permitting. A previous stay will expire on March 30, 2010.

Proposal to Repeal the NSR Grandfathering Provision
February 4, 2010 - EPA proposed to repeal a portion of the rule implementing the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program for fine particle pollution. This part of the rule is known as the grandfathering provision for PM2.5.

Proposal to Stay Fugitive Emissions Rule for 18 Months
February 4, 2010 - EPA proposed to stay, for 18 additional months, the rule establishing how fugitive emissions should be treated for New Source Review permitting. The current stay will expire on March 30, 2010.

Approval and Promulgation of Wisconsin NSR Reform Regulations: Denial of Petition for Reconsideration
January 20, 2010 - EPA responded to a petition from the NRDC and Sierra Club. Their petition requested that EPA reconsider and stay of certain parts of the Wisconsin's SIP. After carefully reviewing the petition for reconsideration, EPA has denied it. EPA also denied NRDC's request for a stay of the final rule approving the Wisconsin state plan.

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2009

Public Hearings
October 30, 2009 - EPA will hold two hearings on the Proposed Prevention of Significant Deterioration and title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule. The hearings will be in Arlington, VA on Wednesday November 18, 2009, and Rosemont, IL on Thursday November 19, 2009.

EPA proposes to focus first greenhouse gas permitting requirements on large industrial facilities
September 30, 2009 - EPA proposed new thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that define when Clean Air Act permits under the New Source Review and title V operating permits programs would be required. The proposed thresholds would tailor these permit programs to limit which facilities would be required to obtain permits and would cover nearly 70 percent of the nations largest stationary source GHG emittersincluding power plants, refineries, and cement production facilities, while shielding small businesses and farms from permitting requirements.

Final Rule Facilitates the use of Flexible Air Permits
September 25, 2009 - Flexible air permits enable major air emissions sources to implement operational plans and make anticipated changes to these plans without further review and approval. These permits do not provide approval for operational changes outside the scope authorized in the initial permit and sources must still meet all Clean Air Act requirements that apply to them. Pilot studies have shown that flexible permitting approaches can minimize the need for permit revisions, provide significant economic benefits, encourage innovation, and increase public awareness -- all while ensuring equal or greater environmental protection.

EPA Stays the "Grandfathering" Provision for the PM2.5 NSR Permitting Rule for Nine Months
September 16, 2009 - EPA staying until June 22, 2010 the "grandfathering" provision for particulate mater less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) requirements in the Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program published in the Federal Register on May 16, 2008.

EPA requests comment on extending the 3-Month Administrative Stay of the "Grandfathering" Provision for the PM2.5 NSR Permitting Rule beyond September 1, 2009
July 16, 2009 - In this action, EPA is proposing to extend for an additional nine months the existing administrative stay of the "grandfathering" provision for particulate mater less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) requirements in the Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program published in the Federal Register on May 16, 2008.

EPA extends effective date of the aggregation rule for 1-year
May 8, 2009 - This final rule extends until May 18, 2010, the effective date of the January 12, 2009 aggregation rule. During this time, EPA will reconsider the final aggregation rule.

Granting of Petitions to Reconsider Aspects of the Reasonable Possibility, Fugitive Emissions and PM2.5 NSR Permitting Rules
April 24, 2009 - EPA notified petitioners of its intent to reconsider portions of three rules under its New Source Review (NSR) permitting program.

EPA requests comment on extending the effective date of the aggregation rule beyond May 18, 2009
March 13, 2009 - In this action, EPA is proposing an additional delay of the effective date of the NSR Aggregation Amendments and soliciting comment on the duration of this additional delay in order to allow for sufficient time to conduct the reconsideration proceeding.

EPA Reconsiders New Source Review Final Rule
February 9, 2009 - To allow further review of the January 15, 2009, final rule modifying the NSR air permitting programs aggregation policy, EPA is extending the effective date of the rule. This action is in response to the White Houses January 20, 2009, and the Office of Management and Budgets January 21, 2009, memoranda regarding regulatory review. EPA also will reconsider one or more of the aspects of this final rule raised by the Natural Resources Defense Council in a petition for reconsideration. To allow time for the review and the reconsideration, EPA will stay the effective date of this rule for 90 days, until May 18, 2009.

Denial of Petitions to Reconsider Aspects of the PM2.5 NSR Requirements and Reasonable Possiblity Rule
January 15, 2009 - EPA has denied two petitions for reconsideration of two final rules under the New Source Review permitting program.

PM2.5 NSR Requirements Reasonable Possibility Rule

Final Rule Defines Approach for Grouping Projects under the New Source Review Permitting Program
On January 12, 2009, EPA issued a final rule that revises the agencys policy on aggregation. For the purpose of determining whether NSR applies, this rule directs facilities and permitting authorities to combine, or aggregate, emissions from plant modifications when those projects are related. Thus, total emissions for the related projects must be considered when permitting authorities determine whether NSR applies.

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2008

EPA issues an interpretive memorandum entitled "EPA's Interpretation of Regulations That Determine Pollutants Covered by Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit Program."
December 23, 2008 - On December 18, 2008 the Administrator issued an interpretive memorandum entitled "EPA's Interpretation of Regulations That Determine Pollutants Covered by Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit Program."

EPA Finalizes Rule Reconsidering Inclusion of Fugitive Emissions
On December 10, 2008, EPA finalized revisions to the December 31, 2002 New Source Review (NSR) Improvement rules to change the requirements of the major NSR programs regarding the treatment of fugitive emissions.

EPA Issues Final Rules Governing the Implementation of NSR for Fine Particulate Matter
On May 8, 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final rules governing the implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) program for particulate matter less then 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5). PM2.5 also is known as fine particles. This rule finalizes several NSR program requirements for sources that emit PM2.5 and other pollutants that contribute to PM2.5

Treatment of Certain Ethanol Production Facilities Under the Major Emitting Facility Definition; Notice of Action Denying Petition for Reconsideration and Denying Request for Stay
April 24, 2008 - The EPA has responded to a petition for reconsideration of the final rule published May 1, 2007, entitled “Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Nonattainment New Source Review and Title V: Treatment of Certain Ethanol Production Facilities Under the ‘Major Emitting Facility’ Definition.” (“ethanol rule”) On July 2, 2007, EPA received a petition for reconsideration pursuant to 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA from the Natural Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”). The NRDC petition also requested that EPA stay implementation of the final rule pending reconsideration of the rule. The NRDC petition for reconsideration can be found in the rulemaking docket under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0089. The EPA considered the petition and the information in the rulemaking docket in reaching a decision on the petition. The EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson denied the petition for reconsideration and the request for a stay of the rule in a letter to the petitioner dated March 27, 2008. The letter documents EPA’s reasons for the denial and can be found in the rulemaking docket.

Redesignation of the Forest County Potawatomi Community Reservation to a PSD Class I Area
April 18, 2008 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that approves the Forest County Potawatomi Community’s (FCP Community) Tribal Council request to redesignate certain portions of the FCP Community Reservation as a non-Federal Class I area under the Clean Air Act (Act or CAA) program for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration of air quality. In separate notices also signed on April 18, 2008, EPA announces the resolution of intergovernmental disputes raised by the Governors of Wisconsin and Michigan in 1995 about EPA’s proposal to approve the request of the FCP Community to redesignate portions of its reservation as a non-Federal Class I area.

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2007

Rule Clarification Assures that New Source Review Program is Applied Appropriately
December 14, 2007 - EPA issues a final rule to clarify when facilities must keep records and report emissions when a “reasonable possibility” test shows that projected emissions increases could equal or exceed 50 percent of the Clean Air Act’s NSR significant levels for any pollutant. This rule does not change permitting requirements.

Reconsideration of the Inclusion of Fugitive Emissions
November 6, 2007 - EPA responded to a petition from the Newmont Mining Corporation requesting reconsideration of the New Source Review (NSR) Reform rules of 2002 by proposing to revise the way the December 2002 final rules treat fugitive emissions for purposes of determining whether a physical or operational change at an existing major source qualifies as a major modification.

EPA Proposes Measures to Address Direct Emissions of Fine Particulates
September 12, 2007 - EPA uses three key measures to determine if emissions of criteria pollutants will harm air quality: increments, significant impact level, and significant monitoring concentrations. The proposal presents options for how to calculate each of these measures for PM2.5.

Proposed Flexible Air Permitting Rule
August 28, 2007 - EPA proposed revisions to both the clean air operating permits (title V) and the new source review programs under the Clean Air Act. These proposed revisions would make more broadly available a new approach to air permitting known as a "flexible air permit."

EPA reopening of the public comment period
August 22, 2007 - EPA is announcing the reopening of the public comment period on our proposed amendments for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration New Source review: Refinements of Increment Modelling Procedures.

EPA extends public comment period to August 8, 2007
July 2, 2007 - Comment Period Extended for Supplemental Rule Proposing a Refined Emissions Test for Existing Power Plants.

Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NSR): Removal of Vacated Elements
June 5, 2007 - EPA removed provisions for pollution control projects (PCP) and clean units (CU) from its New Source Review (NSR) regulations. These provisions were part of EPAs NSR improvement rule issued on December 31, 2002. On June 24, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the portions of the 2002 and 1992 NSR rules that pertained to CU and PCP.

Public Hearing for Supplemental Proposal Further Defining a Proposed Modification to the Emissions Test Used to Determine When NSR Applies to an Electric Generating Unit Announced
May 29, 2007 - EPA will hold a public hearing June 29, 2007 on proposed further modifications to the NSR applicability test for electric generating units. The public hearing will begin at 9 a.m., and continue until one hour after the last registered speaker has spoken. People wishing to present oral testimony must pre-register by 5:00 p.m. on June 28, 2007.

Proposed Clarifications and Modifications to Air Impact Modeling Procedures Used for the New Source Review Program
May 24, 2007 - This proposed rule would refine several aspects of the method that may be used to calculate how air emissions from a new or modified industrial facility might impact an area. The New Source Review permitting program is one of the tools EPA, state, tribal and local air pollution control agencies rely upon to control emissions growth.

New Source Review: EPA Proposes Refined Emissions Test to Improve Safety, Reliability, and Efficiency of Existing Power Plants
April 25, 2007 - This supplemental proposal further defines options to change the emissions increase test used to determine if the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program would apply when an existing power plant makes a physical or operational change.

Final Changes for Certain Ethanol Production Facilities Under Three Clean Air Act Permitting Programs
April 12, 2007 - This final action modifies the definition of a "chemical process plant" as it applies to three Clean Air Act permitting programs.

Proposed Rule for EPA's New Source Review Program: Reasonable Possibility In Recordkeeping
February 28, 2007 - This proposal seeks comment on two options for clarifying the "reasonable possibility" recordkeeping and reporting standard of the 2002 New Source Review (NSR) reform rules.

Final Rule to Revise Nonattainment New source Review Regulations: Appendix S
February 28, 2007 - This final rule updates the regulations that apply to the process for permitting new or modified industrial facilities in areas that do not meet EPA's health based national air quality standards for ground-level ozone and fine particle pollution. These areas are known as nonattainment areas.

EPA Reopens Comment Period on Proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Tribal Lands
January 31, 2007 - EPA is announcing a reopening of the public comment period on our proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Tribal Lands from January 19, 2007 to March 20, 2007.

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2006

Federal Implementation Plan Under the Clean Air Act for Certain Trust Lands of the Forest County Potawatomi Community Reservation
December 11, 2006 - This federal plan would be used to implement a request from the Forest County Potawatomi Community to designate parts of its reservation as a "Class I Area. " Class I areas are areas set aside for the most stringent level of protection under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program.

EPA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Tribal Lands
October 24, 2006 - EPA is announcing an extension of the public comment period on our proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Tribal Lands from November 20, 2006 to January 19, 2007.

EPA to Hold Hearing on Proposed Steps to Improve New Source Review
October 18, 2006 - EPA will hold a public hearing Nov. 6, 2006 on proposed changes to simplify the process owners and operators of existing facilities must follow when determining whether plans to modify their facility would trigger NSR requirements. EPA proposed the changes September 8, 2006.

The public hearing will begin at 9 a.m., Monday, Nov. 6 and continue until one hour after the last registered speaker has spoken. People wishing to present oral testimony must pre-register by 5:00 p.m. on November 3, 2006.

EPA Proposes Steps to Improve New Source Review
September 8, 2006 - EPA is proposing to make three improvements to specific areas of the New Source Review (NSR) program. These improvements would apply to debottlenecking, aggregation, and project netting. These improvements would simplify the process owners and operators of existing facilities must follow when determining whether plans to modify their facility would trigger NSR requirements. This proposed rule covers the final set of recommendations from EPA's 2002 Report to the President on NSR (PDF) (34pp, 155k). In that report, EPA, in consultation with other federal agencies, recommended a series of clarifications to the NSR program to improve investment in utility and refinery capacity.

EPA Proposes Federal Implementation Plan for Tribal Lands
August 9, 2006 - EPA is proposing to help protect air quality in areas under tribal jurisdiction, without slowing the areas' economic growth. The proposed plan, known as a Federal Implementation Plan, or "FIP," would require new industrial facilities and facilities making modifications to apply for air quality permits. These facilities have not previously been subject to air permitting requirements in Indian country. Note: The comment period for this proposal has been reopened for an additional 60 days. The deadline for submitting comments is now March 20, 2007.


EPA Proposes to Change Air Permitting Requirements for Corn Milling Facilities
February 28, 2006 - EPA is proposing to apply the same air permitting requirements to facilities that produce corn ethanol for fuel and to those that produce corn ethanol for human consumption. EPA’s proposal would provide equal treatment for all corn milling facilities that produce ethanol. The Agency will accept comments on this proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

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2005

EPA Extends Comment Period, Announces Public Hearing for Proposed Changes to New Source Review for Electric Generating Units.
November 18, 2005 - EPA has extended until February 17, 2006 the public comment period on proposed changes to its New Source Review (NSR) permitting program to provide nationwide consistency in how states implement the program for electric generating units. EPA proposed the changes October 13, 2005 (see below). The Agency also will hold a public hearing on the proposal December 9, 2005 at its offices in Research Triangle Park.

Proposed Changes to New Source Review for Electric Generating Units.
October 13, 2005 - EPA proposed changes to its New Source Review (NSR) permitting program to provide nationwide consistency in how states implement the program for electric generating units. The proposed changes would standardize the emissions tests used in NSR to determine if a physical or operational change at a power plant would cause emission increases that would require the plant to install additional pollution controls. As the result of a recent decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the emissions tests in five states and the District of Columbia now differ from that used in the rest of the country.

Prevention of Significant Deterioration: Final Rule to Address Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides.
September 29, 2005 - The current program to minimize the impact of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and prevent significant declines in air quality in areas that meet EPA’s air quality standards will not change as a result of a final rule issued by EPA. The program, known as Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), addresses the need to allow growth while maintaining air quality in areas that are already clean. “Significant deterioration” is defined as the maximum allowable pollutant concentration increase - also known as an “increment” - above an existing baseline concentration for an area. An increment is established for areas (e.g., counties) that states designate as attaining national air quality standards. Emissions increases are not allowed that cause the increment to be exceeded for a given pollutant.

EPA Completes Reconsideration on How New Source Review Applies in 8-hour Ozone Nonattainment Areas.
June 30, 2005 - EPA took final action to reconsider how New Source Review applies in 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas. EPA issued the Phase 1 rule implementing the 8-hour ozone standard in April 2004. It addresses requirements for NSR in 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas. This action is in response to a Petition for Reconsideration submitted by Earthjustice on behalf of seven environmental organizations.

After carefully considering all comments received, EPA determined that NSR requirements applying to large sources in nonattainment areas for the 8-hour standard are to be based on the area's classification for the 8-hour standard, not on the area's higher classification under the revoked 1-hour standard. In addition EPA determined that since the 1 -hour standard is no longer in effect, States may remove 1-hour major NSR programs from their state implementation plans.

EPA Completes Reconsideration of New Source Review's Equipment Replacement Provision
June 6, 2005 - EPA issued its final response on the reconsideration of the Equipment Replacement Provision, or ERP, adopted as part of the Agency's New Source Review (NSR) permitting program. This provision clarifies what types of equipment replacements are exempt from major NSR requirements under the Routine Maintenance, Repair and Replacement (RMRR) exclusion. After evaluating the comments received during the reconsideration process, EPA has decided to not change any aspect of the rule at this time. However, the Agency has clarified a number of its positions in support of the ERP, including the legal basis and support for selecting 20 percent for the cost criterion. EPA continues to believe that its reforms to the NSR equipment replacement provision ensure environmental protection and provide much needed improvements to the NSR program. Learn more:

EPA Grants Reconsideration of the Application of New Source Review Under the Ozone Implementation Rule
March 25, 2005 - EPA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider how new source review applies under the phase 1 rule implementing the national air quality standards for 8-hour ozone. This action is in response to a petition for reconsideration submitted by Earthjustice on behalf of seven environmental organizations. Learn more:

EPA Proposes Rule to Address Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides in Areas Meeting National Air Quality Standards
The Clean Air Act provides for the protection of air quality in clean air areas of the country. One approach for protecting air quality in these areas is the use of “increments.” Increments are measured in terms of an air quality concentration of the pollutant (micrograms of pollutant per cubic meter), and they limit the amount of degradation of air quality in clean air areas.

On February 14, 2005, EPA proposed three options to meet the objectives of the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program for nitrogen oxides (NOx). These options include:

  1. retaining the existing increments for NOx–measured as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the ambient air as established in October 1988;
  2. allowing states that choose to implement an interstate cap and trade program for sources of NOx to rely on the benefits of that program in place of the existing increments to prevent significant deterioration of NOx air quality. EPA is currently considering establishing such a program known as the Clean Air Interstate Rule for the eastern U.S; or
  3. continuing to allow states to adopt their own planning strategies to show that PSD for NOx is satisfied through some combination of state and federal emissions controls that have been or will be adopted.

This proposed rule complies with a court order and the terms of a settlement agreement with Environmental Defense. EPA will accept comment on this proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register (the proposal was published in the Federal Register on February 23, 2005, and the public comment period will closed on April 25, 2005).

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2004

EPA and Justice Department file Government’s briefs in lawsuits challenging the Agency’s December 2002 rule revising regulatory requirements for New Source Review
On August 9, 2004, EPA and the Department of Justice filed the Government's brief in the lawsuits brought by states, local governments, industry and environmental groups to challenge EPA's 2002 rule revising regulatory requirements for New Source Review. The brief also defends challenges to EPA's 1980 and 1992 NSR rules. The 2002 rule - which grew out of more than 20 years of experience with the NSR program and over a decade of working with states, industry, and environmental groups on NSR reforms - provides greater regulatory certainty, increases flexibility and promotes administrative efficiency, while ensuring the current (or a greater) level of environmental protection.

Click on the links below to read the documents filed August 9.

EPA Grants Reconsideration of Certain Aspects of the Equipment Replacement Provisions of the New Source Review Permitting Program and Updates the Code of Federal Regulations
On June 30, 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a request to reconsider certain aspects of the equipment replacement provision or ERP adopted as part of the Agencys New Source Review (NSR) permitting program. The Administrator received petitions for reconsideration from a collection of environmental and public interest groups and a group of states. Today's action opens a public comment period allowing further public input on certain aspects of the NSR program. EPA is also issuing a rule updating the Code of Federal Regulations to reflect the Courts decision to stay the rule.

Follow the links below to read:

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2003

Routine Equipment Replacement Rule Stayed 12/24/03
After EPA issued the final NSR Equipment Replacement rule, 14 states, plus other governmental entities, and several public health/environmental organizations filed suits in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging the rule. Some of these groups asked the Court to prevent the rule from taking effect or "stay the rule" until the challenges they raised in their lawsuits are resolved by the Court. On December 24, 2003, the Court stayed the effective date of the October 2003 Equipment Replacement NSR rules. As a result, the rule will not become effective on December 26, 2003.

Routine Equipment Replacement Rule (final rule signed 8/27/03, published 10/27/03)
A final rule that provides certainty about when routine equipment replacement activities require a detailed permit review was issued on August 27, 2003. This final rule is part of the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program's routine maintenance, repair and replacement exclusion.

This rule will provide the energy and manufacturing sector with greater regulatory certainty. Knowing what constitutes routine equipment replacement will help to ensure that industries maintain safe, reliable and efficient operations that minimize air pollution.

Click on the links below for more information about this final rule:

Reconsideration of December 2002 NSR Rule Changes
After reconsidering six specific issues related to the New Source Review (NSR) rule finalized on December 31, 2002, EPA will not change any of the six issues, but it will clarify two aspects of the final rule. Click on the links below for more information about the issues under reconsideration and EPA's response:

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2002

December 2002 Improvements
In May 2001, The National Energy Policy Development Group, in its National Energy Policy Report, recommended that "the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and other relevant agencies, review New Source Review (NSR) regulations, including administrative interpretation and implementation, and report to the President on the impact of the regulations on investment in new utility and refinery generation capacity, energy efficiency, and environmental protection."

On June 22, 2001, EPA issued a background paper (PDF, 50 pp, 503 KB), giving an overview of the NSR program and how it relates to utility and refinery generating capacity, energy efficiency, and environmental protection.

As part of the NSR regulations review process, EPA held four public meetings across the country to take comment on the background paper and gather additional information.

On June 13, 2002, Administrator Whitman sent a letter to the President (PDF, 2 pp, 286 KB) transmitting EPA's Report to the President (PDF, 34 pp, 155 KB) and a separate New Source Review Recommendations document summarizing actions to improve the NSR program.

Click on the links below for more information about the December 2002 final and proposed rules.


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