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What They Are Saying: EPA Takes Further Actions to Improve the NSR Permitting Program

12/04/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (Dec. 4, 2019) — Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced several actions to clarify and improve New Source Review (NSR) permitting requirements. These actions will improve regulatory certainty and remove unnecessary obstacles to projects aiming to improve the reliability, efficiency, and safety of facilities while maintaining air quality standards. Here's what stakeholders and elected officials are saying:

Members of Congress

U.S. Senator John Barrasso, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (WY): “I applaud the Trump administration for its work to simplify the approval process for energy providers and manufacturers. The EPA’s actions will allow power plants to update their facilities and reduce emissions. The New Source Review program is more than 40 years old and desperately in need of reform. That’s why I introduced the Growing American Innovation Now (GAIN) Act, so that New Source Review stops being a barrier to important energy and manufacturing projects. I will continue to work with President Trump and Administrator Wheeler to reform the New Source Review program.”

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (OK): “For too long, New Source Review permitting requirements stifled job creation, hampered innovation and slowed the ability to modernize critical energy infrastructure. Worse, in previous administrations, the permits were weaponized, so liberal activists could delay key projects. New Source Review hasn’t been updated in over four decades—making it hard to integrate new technologies into our energy infrastructure. I’ve worked for years to modernize the review process, and applaud today’s action by President Trump and Administrator Wheeler to streamline the NSR permitting process.”

U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (ND): “One of my consistent frustrations with New Source Review is what seems to be a perverse incentive away from innovation. Thank you to Administrator Wheeler and the Trump Administration for recognizing this and finalizing these positive reforms. The EPA’s actions provide certainty while restoring the proper scope of the Clean Air Act.”

U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (VA-09): “I applaud the EPA for taking further steps to reform the New Source Review permitting program. NSR’s burdensome process can impede upgrades that would actually increase efficiency and improve air quality. The EPA is moving toward a better NSR program that streamlines the process without sacrificing environmental protections.” 

U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (AZ-05): “I applaud Administrator Wheeler for implementing a strong regulatory reform agenda at the EPA. Today’s actions are a solid first step in the right direction to reform the NSR permitting program. I look forward to continue working with the Trump Administration to further reform NSR and allow America’s industry to make their units more reliable and efficient, while maintaining strong environmental standards.”

U.S. Representative Alex X. Mooney (WV-02): “President Donald Trump continues to deliver on his promise to cut burdensome regulations that strangle American manufacturing and energy development. These improvements to the New Source Review (NSR) permitting requirements will protect our air quality, while incentivizing businesses to grow and expand. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump and Administrator Wheeler to cut needless regulations and create American jobs.”

Stakeholders

American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski: “The ambient air final guidance has adopted an approach that will focus on likely exposure scenarios rather than evaluating unrealistic scenarios, as was done in the past. For example, the wood products industry has previously had to evaluate potential impacts anywhere a person could theoretically access, including if a person gained access to a manufacturing site by illegal trespass.

“Our industry appreciates the adoption of realistic assumptions and scenarios in this final guidance.”

American Forest & Paper Association CEO Heidi Brock: “Paper and wood products manufacturers applaud EPA’s action that recognizes its ambient air policy must fit modern times and monitoring technology. This common-sense approach will allow the EPA to embrace realistic exposure scenarios to estimate the air quality impacts of projects aimed at modernizing U.S. manufacturing plants. Moreover, the new policy fulfills the twin purposes of the Clean Air Act to enhance the quality of our air and promote the productive capacity of the nation. As one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the nation, we have invested billions of dollars on environmental stewardship with significant air quality improvements. Our industry welcomes regulatory policy that supports its ability to apply sustainable business practices to help grow the economy and create American manufacturing jobs.”

Portland Cement Association President and CEO Mike Ireland: “This Administration is clearing the path for manufacturers to invest in more energy efficient technologies that conserve energy, reduce emissions, and keep U.S. manufacturers competitive. For energy-intensive industries like cement, strategic investment in energy efficiency and emissions reduction are key components of any long-term climate and sustainability strategy, and EPA’s New Source Review reforms announced today help unlock new opportunities for sustainable operation.”

American Petroleum Institute Sr. Director of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman: “API supports EPA's efforts to improve the New Source Review program, which are important for businesses and industries. Balanced, effective NSR regulations allow the oil and natural gas industry to invest in new facilities and energy infrastructure in ways that improve environmental performance.”