EPA Releases Permitting Guidance for Greenhouse Gases


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: Climate Change

On November 10, EPA released its Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Permitting Guidance for Greenhouse Gases. 

In EPA’s words, the guidance is designed to “assist state and local permitting authorities as they implement their PSD and Title V Operating Permit Programs for GHGs.”  The agency also is providing “technical resources to assist states and sources in identifying control measures for GHG emissions.”

Among its provisions, the guidance:

  • reiterates that BACT determinations will continue to be a state, and project specific, decision;
  • doesn’t prescribe GHG BACT for any source type;
  • emphasizes the importance of BACT options which improve energy efficiency, while noting that carbon capture and sequestration, while promising, is expensive and unlikely to be selected as BACT currently;
  • clarifies that EPA won’t require GHGs to be addressed in permits issued before January 2, 2011 that don’t become effective until after that date; and
  • notes that permitting authorities can now consider the benefits of biomass during the BACT selection process

The guidance did not establish a new approach for selecting BACT for GHG emissions.

The agency also issued white papers on GHG control measures focused on the industrial sectors that emit the highest amounts of GHGs.  Those sectors include:

  1. Electric Generating Units
  2. Large Industrial / Commercial / Institutional Boilers 
  3. Pulp and Paper
  4. Cement
  5. Iron and Steel
  6. Refineries
  7. Nitric Acid Plants

EPA notes that the public may provide feedback on the GHG permitting guidance at  (A forthcoming notice in the Federal Register will announce the availability of the guidance and the opportunity for public comment. If appropriate, EPA adds, it “will issue a revised version of the guidance well in advance of January 2, 2011, when GHG permitting takes effect.”)

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