- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, rolled out its official proposal for regulating greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the existing Clean Air Act framework.
The agency proposed two rules requiring new facilities, or those that make major expansions, to obtain a permit that includes their GHG emissions. Under the GHG Tailoring Rule, beginning in 2011, projects that will increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.
The Tailoring Rule covers large industrial facilities like power plants and oil refineries that are responsible for 70 percent of the GHGs from stationary sources. The proposals announced on Thursday will put every facility under U.S. control under the requirements, whether those are outlined by their state, or for most, by a federal plan.
In the first rule, the EPA proposed to require permitting programs in 13 states to make changes to their implementation plans to ensure that GHG emissions will be covered. These states are as follows:
- Arizona excluding Maricopa County, Pima County and Indian Country
- California's Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
- Kentucky (Jefferson County gets a separate one)
- Nebraska (Lincoln/Lancaster/Omaha gets a separate one)
- Nevada's Clark County
All other states that implement an EPA-approved air permitting program must review their existing permitting authority and inform EPA if their programs do not address GHG emissions.
Because some states may not be able to develop and submit revisions to their state implementation plans (SIPs) before the Tailoring Rule becomes effective in 2011, in the second rule, EPA is proposing a federal implementation plan, which would allow EPA to issue permits for large GHG emitters located in these states. This would be a temporary measure that is in place until the state can revise its own plan and resume responsibility for GHG permitting.
According to the EPA, states are best-suited to issue permits to sources of GHG emissions and have long-standing experience working together with industrial facilities. The agency said it will work closely and promptly with states to help them develop, submit and approve necessary revisions to enable the affected states to issue air permits to GHG-emitting sources. Additionally, the EPA will continue to provide guidance and act as a resource for the states as they make the various required permitting decisions for GHG emissions.
The agency will accept comment on the first proposal for updated state implementation plans for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and has scheduled a hearing on the second proposal for the federal implementation plan on Aug. 25, 2010, and will accept comment for 30 days after that hearing. The agency is working to finalize these rules prior to Jan. 2, 2011, the earliest GHG permitting requirements will be effective.
A fact sheet on these two proposals is available at www.epa.gov/nsr/documents/20100810SIPFIPFactSheet.pdf (pdf)
Proposal to find SIPs inadequate and call for new ones: www.epa.gov/nsr/documents/20100810FinalGHGSIPCallProposal.pdf (a pdf)
Proposal to create FIP for most states: www.epa.gov/nsr/documents/20100810SIPFIPFactSheet.pdf (another pdf)
The public hearing notice is at www.epa.gov/nsr/documents/20100810SIPFIPFactSheet.pdf (yet another pdf)
The EPA's final Tailoring Rule: www.epa.gov/nsr/documents/20100413final.pdf (Hope you like pdfs)
SOURCE: EPA press release, EPA website on NSR actions: www.epa.gov/nsr/actions.html#aug10.