Date: September 30, 2009
Source: U.S. EPA
The US EPA said it will regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants, factories and oil refineries under the Clean Air Act if Congress fails to pass specific climate change legislation. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson unveiled the proposal in a speech before the California Governor's Global Climate Summit. The proposed regulation would apply to large-scale industrial sources that emit at least 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually and require them to obtain construction and operating permits covering those emissions using "best available control technologies" and energy efficiency measures to minimize emissions. The permits would be required whenever a new facility is built or when an existing facility is significantly modified. The approach mimics how the EPA forces power plants and factories to install "scrubbers" and other means of limiting many types of air pollutants under "MACT" standards.
"By using the power and authority of the Clean Air Act, we can begin reducing emissions from the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitting facilities without placing an undue burden on the businesses that make up the vast majority of our economy," Jackson said. "This is a common sense rule that is carefully tailored to apply only to the largest sources -- those sectors responsible for nearly 70% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions."
The move follows an EPA proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, which initially was announced in May by President Obama and automotive executives. It stems from a 2007 Supreme Court decision, in a case filed by environmentalists, which held that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act.
New EPA Rule Will Require Use of Best Technologies to Reduce Greenhouse Gases from Large Facilities/Small businesses and farms exempt
Release date: 09/30/2009
Contact Information: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7849 202-564-4355 firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES– U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today in a keynote address at the California Governor's Global Climate Summit that the Agency has taken a significant step to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act. The Administrator announced a proposal requiring large industrial facilities that emit at least 25,000 tons of GHGs a year to obtain construction and operating permits covering these emissions. These permits must demonstrate the use of best available control technologies and energy efficiency measures to minimize GHG emissions when facilities are constructed or significantly modified.
The full text of the Administrators remarks is available at www.epa.gov.
"By using the power and authority of the Clean Air Act, we can begin reducing emissions from the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitting facilities without placing an undue burden on the businesses that make up the vast majority of our economy," said EPA Administrator Jackson. "This is a common sense rule that is carefully tailored to apply to only the largest sources -- those from sectors responsible for nearly 70 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions sources. This rule allows us to do what the Clean Air Act does best – reduce emissions for better health, drive technology innovation for a better economy, and protect the environment for a better future – all without placing an undue burden on the businesses that make up the better part of our economy."
These large facilities would include power plants, refineries, and factories. Small businesses such
as farms and restaurants, and many other types of small facilities, would not be included in these requirements.
If the proposed fuel-economy rule to regulate GHGs from cars and trucks is finalized and takes effect in the spring of 2010, Clean Air Act permits would automatically be required for stationary sources emitting GHGs. This proposed rule focuses these permitting programs on the largest facilities, responsible for nearly 70 percent of U.S. stationary source greenhouse gas emissions.
With the proposed emissions thresholds, EPA estimates that 400 new sources and modifications to existing sources would be subject to review each year for GHG emissions. In total, approximately 14,000 large sources would need to obtain operating permits that include GHG emissions. Most of these sources are already subject to clean air permitting requirements because they emit other pollutants.
The proposed tailoring rule addresses a group of six greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
In addition, EPA is requesting public comment on its previous interpretation of when certain pollutants, including CO2 and other GHGs, would be covered under the permitting provisions of the Clean Air Act. A different interpretation could mean that large facilities would need to obtain permits prior to the finalization of a rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
EPA will accept comment on these proposals for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The proposed rules and more information: www.epa.gov/nsr/actions.html