EPA plans to streamline New Source Review and NAAQS air pollution permitting.

October 31, 2017

On October 25, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Final Report on Review of Agency Actions that Potentially Burden the Safe, Efficient Development of Domestic Energy Resources.

The 15-page report said it would reassess the way it issues Clean Air Act pollution permits for new facilities, as a way to reduce regulatory burdens for businesses according to an October 25, 2017 story from The Hill. As part of a review President Trump mandated earlier this year, the EPA said it would undertake four new initiatives to re-evaluate how it regulates pollution.

The most notable of those is the creation of a new task force to reconsider the permitting process for new sources of air pollution under the Clean Air Act, called the New Source Review (NSR).

“The potential costs, complexity and delays that may arise from the NSR permitting process can slow the construction of domestic energy exploration, production, or transmission facilities that must undergo review,” the EPA wrote in a 15-page report on its regulations.

“In some circumstances, the NSR process discourages the construction of new facilities or modifications of existing ones that could result in greater environmental improvements. Such reactions to the NSR process slows the growth of domestic energy resources and raise energy costs.”

The EPA issues three types of permits for newly built or modified facilities such as power plants, which set site-specific pollution requirements. But commenters told the EPA the review process is lengthy, complex and costly, and suggested a handful of ways to improve the process.

Administrator Scott Pruitt will convene an “NSR Reform Task Force” to assess the issue, the agency said.

The new initiative comes after President Trump ordered agencies to consider ways to cut regulations and help the American energy sector.

Besides the new source considerations, the EPA said it would work to speed up its approval process for state plans aimed at reducing pollutants governed by the agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards, like ozone.

It will also begin conducting an evaluation of the costs and employment impact of its regulations and designate a team of employees as points of contact to help industries navigate agency rulemaking. Both measures are likely to win praise within the business and energy communities.

What this means to you
In a 15-page report EPA has said it will reassess the way it issues Clean Air Act pollution permits for new facilities under the Clean Air Act and it would work to speed up its approval process for state plans aimed at reducing pollutants like ozone governed by the agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

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