Proposed Reconsideration of Fugitive Emissions Rule
EPA proposed revisions to the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) permitting regulations. This action would require facility owners/operators of all existing industrial facilities considered “major sources” to include “fugitive” emissions of air pollutants when determining whether a physical or operational change at their facility is a “major modification” which would need a major NSR permit before starting construction. The permit would include required emission control measures to ensure that changes at the facility would not degrade air quality. “Fugitive emissions” are emissions that could not reasonably pass through a stack, chimney, vent, or similar opening.
As part of this action, EPA has reconsidered a 2008 rule requiring only certain types of industrial source categories to include fugitive emissions when determining whether a change is a major modification. In response to a 2009 petition for reconsideration of the 2008 Fugitive Emissions rule, EPA stayed the rule’s effectiveness and later amended portions of the agency’s NSR regulations to reflect earlier requirements. To bring closure to the reconsideration proceeding, EPA is proposing to fully repeal the 2008 rule by removing certain remaining stayed provisions of the regulations adopted in 2008. EPA also is proposing to remove a related exemption for modifications that would be considered major solely due to the inclusion of fugitive emissions. As a result of the proposed changes, all existing major stationary sources would be required to include fugitive emissions in determining whether a project is a major modification. These changes would more effectively carry out the purposes of the NSR program to preserve and/or improve air quality and will provide greater clarity to all stakeholders. EPA will accept comment on this proposal for 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. The EPA is extending the comment period on the proposed rule to February 14, 2023.
Read a summary fact sheet and the proposal.