Saturday, March 7, 2009

Aggregation Under New Source Review - Extension of Compliance Date

On January 12, 2009, EPA issued a final rule that revises the agency’s policy on “aggregation” as it relates to New Source Review (NSR) under the Clean Air Act. For the purpose of determining whether NSR applies, this rule directs facilities and permitting authorities to combine, or aggregate, emissions from plant modifications when those projects are related. Therefore, total emissions for the related projects must be considered when permitting authorities determine whether NSR applies.

NSR is a pre-construction permitting program to ensure air quality is maintained when factories, industrial boilers and power plants are built or modified. The program ensures that appropriate emission control technology is installed at new plants or existing plants that are undergoing a major modification. Aggregation refers to the grouping of multiple, related physical or operational changes into a single project for evaluating requirements under the New Source Review program.

On February 9, 2009, EPA extended the effective date of the rule final rule modifying the NSR air permitting program’s “aggregation” policy, to allow for further review. This action is in response to the White House’s January 20, 2009, and the Office of Management and Budget’s January 21, 2009, memoranda regarding regulatory review. EPA also will reconsider one or more of the aspects of this final rule raised by the Natural Resources Defense Council in a petition for reconsideration. To allow time for the review and the reconsideration, EPA will stay the effective date of this rule for 90 days, until May 18, 2009.

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