US EPA reopens comment for NSR changes after court action

By OGJ editors
WASHINGTON, DC, July 1 --Responding to pending legal challenges, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Wednesday it will reconsider recent changes it wanted to make to a clean air permit program for refineries, power plants, and other industrial operators.

But EPA predicted the courts ultimately will agree with the agency's proposed revisions, which seek to update a 1977 provision of the Clean Air Act called New Source Review (NSR).

Last year, industry supported the way EPA chose to streamline the often-contested rules but environmentalists and most state air regulators opposed most of the agency's proposal. The new rules generally allow power generators and refiners to replace up to 20% of the value of a plant without obtaining new clean air permits or specific pollution controls.

Several northeast states, along with a coalition of environmental and public health groups, argue that the disputed rules violate federal clean air laws because they allow old, dirty plants to increase emissions by thousands of tons without permits or public review.

Court action
The agency will accept additional public comment for 60 days on the equipment replacement provision of the NSR program. It also plans a public hearing this summer.

Last December, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit essentially stopped EPA from proceeding with some of the new NSR rules. The appeals court however refused to block other NSR updates, finalized by EPA in December 2002. Those revisions give industry more flexibility to meet emission targets.

A court hearing is expected in December 2004 in which representatives from several northeastern states will argue that EPA's equipment replacement proposal will mean refineries and power plants will be allowed to release unlawful amounts of harmful pollution into the air, making it difficult—if not impossible—for states to meet federal clean air standards.

Industry maintains that updating NSR rules in the manner EPA proposes will create the regulatory certainty that industry needs to install expensive new pollution control equipment and clean the air.

"A clearly defined, understandable equipment replacement rule is essential for energy efficiency and environmental protection," said Scott Segal, executive director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC), an industry group.
"If opponents of a clear new source review policy continue to push for delay, however, they will only risk diminished emissions control, energy efficiency, workplace safety, and industrial jobs," he said.

Related Articles

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...

Mexico uses PSCs in first Round One step

12/19/2014 Mexico is offering production-sharing contracts to companies incorporated in the country for exploration of 14 shallow-water areas in Round One bid...

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...

Russia’s Turkey pipeline deal possibly may keep door to Europe ajar

12/18/2014 Russia’s memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline to Turkey after canceling its South Stream project could help keep the door op...

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...

Apache awarded Western Australia offshore permit

12/18/2014 A day after reporting its planned divestment of Western Australian and Canadian assets to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Apache Corp. has been awarded a ...

White Papers

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

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


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


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

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