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EPA Receives Third Extension for Final Action on States’ Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Excess Emissions Provisions

Posted Thursday, December 12th, 2013

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” with respect to their treatment of excess emissions during startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM). In general, these provisions allow emissions in excess of applicable emission limits during SSM events such that they are not considered violations.  EPA’s proposal was prompted by a settlement agreement with Sierra Club, which initially required EPA final action by August 27, 2013.  EPA and Sierra Club subsequently negotiated an extension to September 26, 2013, and then, following the submission of numerous comments strongly opposing EPA’s proposal, a surprisingly long eight-month extension to May 15, 2014.  EPA and Sierra Club have now agreed to a third extension, citing a “lapse in appropriations” during the government shutdown, extending the deadline by an additional month to June 12, 2014.

If finalized as proposed, the 36 affected states will have 18 months to submit SIP revisions correcting the identified deficiencies.

For additional information, contact Andrew Holway.

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