As previously reported by HGS, in February 2013 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed finding that 36 state implementation plans (SIPs), including Florida’s, are substantially inadequate under the Clean Air Act with respect to their treatment of excess emissions during startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM). In general, the subject SIP provisions allow emissions in excess of applicable limits during SSM events such that they are not considered violations. EPA’s proposed rule provides that these provisions violate the Clean Air Act by allowing emissions that could either cause or contribute to violations of ambient air quality standards or by precluding enforcement of applicable standards by EPA or citizens, or both. EPA’s proposal was prompted by a Sierra Club petition and settlement agreement, which also required EPA final action by August 27, 2013. But after EPA extended the comment period for the proposed rule by 30 days and received more than 50,000 comments, Sierra Club agreed to extend EPA’s final action deadline to September 26, 2013. Under EPA’s proposed rule, the 36 affected states will have 18 months from EPA’s publication of a final finding of substantial inadequacy to submit SIP revisions correcting the identified deficiencies.
For additional information, contact Andrew Holway.