EPA Clarifies Permitting Process for Projects Under New Source Review
On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 the EPA published a policy revising preconstruction permitting requirements for power plants and other major air emissions sources under the New Source Review (NSR) program. The policy allows operators to combine new construction and modification activities into a single “project” to streamline permitting, provided the activities are “substantially related.”

A little background

The same policy was previously published toward the end of the Bush administration in 2009, and then retracted shortly after by the Obama administration.

What it says
The guidance provides clarity regarding applicability of the NSR program, allowing facilities to streamline the complex permitting process and making it easier to upgrade equipment. The guidance also provides the following parameters for project aggregation:
  • “a source need not group changes based on timing alone,
  • changes are not required to be aggregated simply because they support the plant’s overall basic purpose, and
  • EPA would apply a policy of presuming that changes separated by three or more years are not substantially related, unless the specifics of the activities rebut this presumption.” (US EPA)
The project aggregation document was published in the Federal Register on November 15, 2018. Click here to view the policy under the NSR programs (Prevention of Significant Deterioration [PSD] and non-attainment NSR).

Contact our air compliance team with questions:
Jay Christopher, Senior Air Specialist
[email protected]

Calvin Niss, Senior Vice President Air and Process Services
[email protected]
Jay Christopher
Senior Scientist Specialist, Englewood, Colorado

Jay has over 40 years of environmental experience. Since 1990, he has specialized in air quality issues and permitting programs affecting a broad range of facility operations, with hands-on experience in both corporate headquarters and facility regulatory settings, as well as in the environmental consulting world. Jay has managed the environmental compliance program and environmental professional staff for a major refinery’s downstream businesses and is involved in regional air quality issues and national trade groups.

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