EPA Completes Framework For Greenhouse Gas Permitting Programs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing the final series of actions that will ensure that the largest industrial facilities can get Clean Air Act permits that cover greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions beginning in January 2011.

The first set of actions will give the EPA authority to permit GHG emissions in seven states (Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon and Wyoming) until the state or local agencies can revise their permitting regulations to cover these emissions.

The EPA is taking additional steps to disapprove part of Texas' Clean Air Act permitting program and the agency will also issue GHG permits to facilities in the state. These actions will ensure that large industrial facilities will be able to receive permits for GHG emissions regardless of where they are located, according to the EPA.

The EPA has also issued final rules that will ensure that there are no federal laws in place that require any state to issue a permit for GHG emissions below levels outlined in the tailoring rule.

Beginning in January 2011, industries that are large emitters of GHG emissions and are planning to build new facilities or make major modifications to existing ones, must obtain air permits and implement energy efficiency measures or, where available, cost-effective technology to reduce their GHG emissions.

This includes power plants, refineries and cement production facilities. Emissions from small sources, such as farms and restaurants are not covered by these GHG permitting requirements.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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