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EPA Proposes Additional Greenhouse Gas Permitting Revisions

Posted Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

On October 3, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed amendments to Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permitting regulations for greenhouse gases (GHG). EPA previously deleted certain GHG PSD and Title V permitting regulations to implement UARG v. EPA, 134 S.Ct. 2427 (2014) and Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, Case No. 09-1322 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 10, 2015), which struck down EPA regulations requiring PSD permitting on the basis of increases in GHG emissions alone, and the proposed amendments continue that implementation.

For example, under the proposed rule, EPA would amend definitions to clarify that GHG actual or potential emissions alone do not trigger PSD or Title V major source permitting. Similarly, EPA would remove provisions for plantwide applicability limitations (PALs) for sources that would only be subject to PSD based on GHG emissions. For other sources, EPA would refine PSD PALs based on a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and add enforceable requirements for plantwide emissions monitoring. In addition, EPA would establish a PSD permitting significant emissions rate (SER) of 75,000 tons per year (tpy) CO2e as the de minimis threshold for GHG emissions. Thus, only sources that trigger PSD for conventional pollutants and exceed this threshold would have to conduct a best available control technology (BACT) analysis for GHGs. EPA also solicited comments on setting the SER at or above 30,000 tpy CO2e and below 75,000 tpy CO2e.

EPA anticipates many states will amend their PSD and Title V permitting regulations and seek revisions of their State Implementation Plans to incorporate these amendments once finalized.

Comments are due by December 2, 2016.

For additional information contact Jon Harris Maurer.

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