EPA schedules hearings on Clean Air Act's new source review rule


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, June 25 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency has scheduled June and July meetings to take public input on whether enforcement of a Clean Air Act rule is hampering investment in electric generating and refinery capacity.

The Bush administration ordered the 90-day assessment of the new source review provisions of the Clean Air Act as part of its recently released national energy plan. The final report, due to President George W. Bush Aug.17, is expected to include recommendations on how to improve the new source review process.

The national energy policy also called for Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft to decide how to proceed with ongoing enforcement measures initiated under the Clinton administration. Environmentalists were quick to respond to the controversial proposals. They complained the Bush administration appears to be about to tie the EPA's hands on one it most effective enforcement tools.

New source review requires firms to install the best pollution control equipment available when they build a new facility or when they makes a major modification that increases emissions from an existing facility. Under the Clinton administration, the EPA used the rule to launch a crackdown alleging modifications were made at power plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities in violation of the law.

In numerous lawsuits, the EPA and Justice departments alleged a number of power plants, refineries, and pulp and paper mills made upgrades enlarging and extending the life of polluting facilities in violation of the new source review provision of the Clean Air Act.

The lawsuits sought to force the companies to install billions of dollars worth of pollution-control equipment. Industry claimed the modifications were routine maintenance that previously had passed must with EPA without problems. The companies complained they were victims of an illegal retroactive rulemaking by the agency.

The EPA said it recognized the new source review process is complex and burdensome both for affected companies and for state and local agencies responsible for implementing the program. The agency said it has been exploring options to simplify the program, reduce the length of the review process, and remove any barriers it may pose to innovation and improved energy efficiency.

The report to the president will summarize key findings with respect to the electric generating and refining industries and examine whether new source review rules, including permitting and compliance, have deterred investment in new capacity. It will also include recommendations on how to improve new source review procedures and minimize any adverse impact on the energy industry.

Beginning June 27, the EPA said separate meetings will be held with outside stakeholders, including affected industries, environmental groups, and state and local governments. The public meetings will be held July 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio; July 12, Sacramento, Calif.; July 17 in Boston, Mass.; and July 20, in Baton Rouge, La.

Related Articles

Can ersatz meat ease climate heat on fossil energy?

12/22/2014

Human food from animals might represent a stronger lever for climate-change mitigation than was indicated by a study reported here last week.

Watching Government: What best practices involve

12/22/2014 So what, exactly, are best practices? Government policymakers freely use the term these days when they describe what's behind standards they're pro...

EPA delays proposal to regulate methane emissions until 2015

12/19/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency is delaying plans to issue proposals to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations until 2015, O...

BLM starts process to consider new Nevada lease nominations

12/19/2014 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Battle Mountain, Nev., field office is seeking public comment on 197 parcels of public land, totaling 415,921 ac...

California Bay Area advances plan for enhanced refinery regulations

12/19/2014 California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in...

IEA finds US energy policy improved in latest in-depth review

12/19/2014 US energy policies have come into sharper focus in the last six years, the International Energy Agency said in its latest periodic review. It speci...

Jewell names Maryland energy administrator BOEM’s new director

12/18/2014 US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell appointed Abigail Ross Hopper, who currently directs the Maryland Energy Administration, as the new director of the U...

Moody’s: Mid-term elections dim federal fracing regulation prospects

12/18/2014 Results of 2014’s congressional elections have reduced the prospect of the federal government enacting its own hydraulic fracturing regulations, Mo...

Thirty-one House Democrats ask Jewell to bar leasing in Arctic Ocean

12/18/2014 US Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and 30 other House Democrats urged US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell to reject the second supplemental environmental i...

White Papers

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



The Future of US Refining

When Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

When Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected