Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | March 29, 2010

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says US EPA is SLOWING down the greenhouse gas train before it heads out of the station.

Under a final decision issued by US EPA no stationary sources will be required to get Clean Air Act permits that cover greenhouse gases (GHGs) before January 2011.

EPA has pledged to take sensible steps to address the billions of tons of greenhouse gas pollution that threaten Americans’ health and welfare, and is providing time for large industrial facilities and state governments to put in place cost-effective, innovative technologies to control and reduce carbon pollution. The  announcement is the first step in EPA’s phased in approach to addressing GHG emissions laid out by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson earlier this month.

 The final agency action determines that Clean Air Act construction and operating permit requirements for the largest emitting facilities will begin when the first national rule controlling GHGs takes effect.

If finalized as proposed, the rule limiting GHG emissions for cars and light trucks would trigger these requirements in January 2011 – the earliest model year 2012 vehicles meeting the standards can be sold in the United States. The agency expects to issue final vehicle GHG standards shortly.

EPA has committed to focusing its GHG permitting requirements on the largest sources. The agency will make a decision later this spring on the amount of GHGs facilities can emit before having to include limits for these emissions in their permits.

The action is the final step in EPA’s reconsideration of the December 18, 2008 memorandum entitled “EPA’s Interpretation of Regulations that Determine Pollutants Covered by Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit Program.”  The final action clarifies when GHGs and other pollutants are covered under Clean Air Act permitting programs.

More information and the letter Administrator Jackson sent last month outlining this approach and timeline: http://www.epa.gov/nsr/guidance.html

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