May 28, 2015
On May 22, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told states to crack down on air pollution from plants during startup, shutdown and malfunction periods, according to a post from The Hill.
The Final Action rolls back exemptions that some states gave for decades to industrial facilities, allowing them to exceed pollution limits during the unusual stages without fines or other penalties.
The EPA is formally telling 36 states to change their plans implementing air pollution standards in order to prohibit the spikes in emissions of substances like nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.
“The called-for changes to state plans will provide necessary environmental protection and will give industry and the public more certainty about requirements that apply during these periods,” the agency said in a statement.
The move represents a victory for environmentalists, who long decried what they said was a major gap in the protections afforded under the Clean Air Act.
Greens say minority communities were disproportionately affected by the pollution, since they often live closest to manufacturers, fuel refiners and other industrial facilities.
The Sierra Club petitioned the EPA to make the change in 2011, arguing that the 36 states allowing the exemptions created an “affirmative defense” that is not allowed under the Clean Air Act. The states with exemptions have until November 2016 to change them.
EPA has published a fact sheet providing more details of its regulation including a list of states affected.
What this means to you
EPA is telling 36 U.S. states they must roll back exemptions on spikes in emissions on startup, shutdown and malfunction. States have until November 2016 to change their regulations.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn about more about startup, shutdown and malfunction engine emission control.