Resolution Concerning the EPA’s New Source Review Regulation
WHEREAS, the Clean Air Act (CAA) new source review (NSR) and prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) programs and related U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules require facilities to undergo review and obtain a permit prior to the construction of a new facility or “major modification” of an existing facility; and
WHEREAS, according to EPA regulations a “major modification” is (1) a non-routine physical or operational change at an existing facility that (2) causes a significant increase in emissions; and
WHEREAS, despite decades of litigation, it has never been fully resolved what a “non-routine” change is and how to determine whether the change might cause a “significant” emissions increase; and
WHEREAS, the EPA has historically taken the position that certain projects that improve efficiency are “non-routine” and therefore require a NSR permit; and
WHEREAS, being subject to NSR entails a lengthy permitting process and often the installation of expensive emissions controls; and
WHEREAS, EPA’s NSR program has become a major deterrent to otherwise beneficial projects that would result in more efficient facilities; and
WHEREAS, the uncertainty surrounding NSR requirements has led to a lower level of investments in efficiency upgrades, which would deter more efficient electric generation, grid management, manufacturing processes, and reduced environmental impacts; and
WHEREAS, currently there are bills pending before Congress to bring about a common-sense approach to the NSR rule.
NOW, THEREFOR BE IT RESOLVED, that the State of _______ urges the U.S. EPA to revise its NSR rule to make it clear and straightforward that efficiency improvements are deemed to be “routine” and, therefore, are not subject to NSR permitting; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the State of _______ urges Congress to solidify such changes by passing legislation before the 115th Session of Congress.