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EPA Proposes to Discontinue NSR Enforcement Initiative


According to a pre-publication draft of "Public Comment on EPA’s National Compliance Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2020-2023," EPA is proposing to drop the NSR and PSD Enforcement Initiative on its twentieth anniversary. EPA presented the following explanation in its request for public comment:

The New Source Review (NSR) and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) requirements of the CAA require certain large industrial facilities to install state-of-the-art air pollution controls when they build new facilities or make significant modifications to existing facilities. The EPA began this initiative as it relates to the power sector in 1998, after EPA investigations revealed that many facilities had failed to install pollution controls after modifications, causing them to emit pollutants that can impact air quality and public health. The EPA and state regulatory approaches and enforcement efforts in this sector have resulted in a 90 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions and an 83 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions since 1997, while gross generation has increased by 10 percent. The EPA has required controls or commenced investigations at 91 percent, 96 percent, and 90 percent of facilities in the glass, cement, and acid manufacturing sectors, respectively. Accordingly, the Agency believes that this NCI no longer presents a significant opportunity to affect nonattainment areas or vulnerable populations nationwide. The EPA proposes to return work in these areas to the core program in FY 2020. EPA will continue to monitor the progress of existing settlement agreements to ensure actions required under those settlements are implemented and air pollution reduction targets are met.

EPA's request for public comment has not yet been published in the Federal Register, but EPA is providing for 30 days of comments. You may send comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OECA-2018- 0843; to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

 

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