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New Source Review (NSR) Permitting

NSR Regulatory Actions

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General Permitting Actions

 

Final Amendments to Rescission Provision of Preconstruction Permits Issued Under the Clean Air Act

October 26, 2016 - Final rule amends the Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) rules to remove a date restriction that limited the use of a provision allowing a PSD permit to be cancelled. 

 

Clean Air Act Permitting Electronic Notice Final Rule

October 5, 2016 - Final rule revises public notice regulations for the New Source Review, title V and Outer Continental Shelf permit programs. 

Final Amendments to Regional Consistency Regulations

July 21, 2016 - EPA finalized revisions to its Regional Consistency regulations, under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This action will streamline the application of regional or local court decisions across the EPA regional offices.  These revisions introduce a narrow procedural exception under which an EPA regional office no longer needs to seek headquarters concurrence to diverge from national policy in geographic areas covered by such an adverse court decision. This exception will apply where Federal court decisions concerning the CAA have regional or local applicability.

Rescission of Preconstruction Permits Issued Under the Clean Air Act

May 27, 2016 – this proposal would amend the Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) rules to remove a date restriction that limits the use of a provision allowing a permit to be cancelled. 

Clean Air Act Permitting Electronic Notice Proposal

December 21, 2015 - EPA is proposing to revise its public notice regulations for the New Source Review, title V and Outer Continental Shelf permit programs of the Clean Air Act. The proposal would remove the mandatory requirement to provide public notice of a draft permit through publication in a newspaper and instead allow for electronic noticing (“e-notice”).

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.

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New Source Review and 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.

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."

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."

Final Rule to Repeal Grandfather Provision for Fine Particle Pollution

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

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.

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).

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 than 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

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.

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New Source Review and Greenhouse Gases

Proposed Revisions to the PSD and Title V Permitting Regulations for GHG and Establishment of a GHG Significant Emissions Rate (SER)

On August 26, 2016, the EPA proposed a set of common sense changes needed to bring EPA’s air permitting regulations in line with Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit decisions on greenhouse gas permitting. This rulemaking proposes revisions to existing PSD and title V regulations to ensure that neither the PSD nor title V rules require a source to obtain a permit solely because the source emits or has the potential to emit GHGs above the applicable thresholds.

GHG PSD and Title V Final Rule to Remove Vacated Elements 

August 12, 2015 – The EPA issues final rule that removes several provisions of the PSD and Title V permitting regulations that were originally promulgated as part of the 2010 Tailoring Rule and that were vacated by the D.C. Circuit in its April 10, 2015, Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA Amended Judgment. This final rule is being issued without first publishing a proposed rule under the “good cause” exemption.

Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting for Greenhouse Gases: Providing Option for Rescission of the EPA-Issued Tailoring Rule Step 2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permits 

April 30, 2015 – The EPA issues direct final rule to narrowly amend the permit rescission provisions in the federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) regulations.  This action will allow the rescission of Clean Air Act PSD permits issued by the EPA or delegated state and local permitting authorities under Step 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule.

Final Rules Implementing the GHG Tailoring Rule

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 Step 3 for the GHG Tailoring Rule

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.

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.

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).

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.

Final Action on Reconsideration of Interpretation

March 29, 2010 - EPA has made a final decision to continue applying the Agency's existing interpretation of a regulation that determines the scope of pollutants subject to the Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

  • Final Action - Federal Register - April 2, 2010 (75 FR 17003)

Proposal Focuses First Greenhouse Gas Permitting on Large 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 emitters including power plants, refineries, and cement production facilities, while shielding small businesses and farms from permitting requirements.

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.

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.

Interpretive Memorandum:   "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."

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New Source Review and Ozone Pollution

 

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.

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 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:

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Flexible Air Permits

 

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.

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."

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New Source Review and Corn Milling Plants

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.

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.

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.

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New Source Review and Power Plants

 

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.

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.

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.

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New Source Review Increments Analysis

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.

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New Source Review Reform

 

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.

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)(34 pp, 155 K, About PDF).  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.

D.C. Court Vacates RMRR Equipment Replacement Provision

On March 17, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the EPA’s RMRR Equipment Replacement Provision.  See New York v. EPA, No. 03-1380 (PDF)(20 pp, 164 K, About PDF) 

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 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.

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

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:

December 2002 Improvements

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.

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.

  • Final Rule - Federal Register - March 31, 2010 (75 FR 16012)

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.

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.

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.

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 agency's New Source Review permitting program less effective.

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.

  • Final Rule - Federal Register, May 14, 2009 (74 FR 22693)

EPA Requests Comment on Extending Effective date of 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.

  • Proposal - Federal Register, March 18, 2009 (74 FR 11509)

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 House’s January 20, 2009, and the Office of Management and Budget’s 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.

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 agency’s policy on “project 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.

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.

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.

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