EPA Unveils Greenhouse Gas “Tailoring” Rule


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: Climate Change

On May 14, EPA unveiled its long-awaited “tailoring” rule which will address greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the largest stationary sources under the Clean Air Act permitting programs.  Specifically, the rule sets thresholds for GHG emissions that define when permits under the New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating permit programs are required for new and existing industrial facilities. (By "tailoring" the requirements of these permitting programs, EPA hopes to limit  whichg facilities will be required to get such permits.)

Most immediately, beginning in January 2011, sources currently subject to the PSD permitting program will berequired to include Greenhouse Gas emissions in their Clean Air Act permits if they increase those emissions by at least 75,000 tons per year (TPY)  (in a CO2-equivalent basis).  Sources currently subject to the operating permit program would similarly be subject to title V requirements for their GHG.

In July 2011, Clean Air Act permitting requirements will be expanded to cover all new facilities with GHG emissions of at least 100,000 tons per year, and modifications at existing facilities that would increase GHG emissions by at least 75,000 tpy.  Operating permit requirements will apply to sources based on their GHG emissions; facilities that emit at least 100,000 tpy CO2e will be subject to Title V permitting requirements

Beginning in 2011, and concluding by July 1, 2012, the agency is also committing to beginning another rulemaking, taking comment on an additional step for phasing in GHG permitting , and possibly discussing whether certain smaller sources may be permanently excluded from permitting.  Additionally, EPA plans to “explore a range of opportunities for streamlining future GHG permitting that have the potential to significantly reduce permitting burdens.”  If established, this would not require permitting for sources with GHG emissions below 50,000 tpy.  In any event, EPA will not require sources for smaller sources until at least April 30, 2016. 

Additionally, by the end of April 2015, EPA will complete a study on the remaining GHG permitting burdens that would exist if EPA applied the program to smaller sources, and the results of the study would be considered to complete a rule by April 2016 further addressing Clean Air Act permitting  for these facilities. 

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