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New source review air pollution program reforms ready for release. (Washington Alert).

The U.S. EPA plans to release a reform package for the Clean Air Act New Source Review (NSR) air pollution program this month. Under the NSR program, stationary sources, such as metalcasting facilities, are required to install state-of-the-art pollution control equipment when they make major plant or process modifications. The rules exempt routine maintenance and repairs from NSR.

The agency has been reviewing the NSR program since the early 1990s. If approved, these provisions could be implemented as a final rule. Other parts of the reform package have been included due to a review of the NSR (as it relates to energy supply and efficiency) ordered by President Bush. These provisions would require a new notice of proposed rulemaking and public notice and comment.

Among its recommended changes to the NSR program, the EPA is expected to propose two significant reforms--one related to plant-wide emission limits and the other to modifying several definitions within the program. The EPA will propose regulatory changes to the NSR program that would trigger NSR only when pollution increases were measured for an entire facility, rather than at each unit of a plant as occurs under the existing regulations. In addition, the package includes a new "clean-unit exemption" that would allow facilities that recently installed pollution control equipment to make further modifications without triggering NSR as long as the plant emissions did not increase.

The second major component of the package would modify several definitions within the program to allow more flexibility and a better understanding of the requirements for the regulated facilities. For example, the EPA would like to apply the definition of "emission increases" that the agency uses for power plants to other industries. This would allow facilities more flexibility to expand without triggering NSR. The agency also is seeking to refine the definition of "routine maintenance" to include a list of appropriate activities that would qualify as routine maintenance and not trigger NSR. This would eliminate some of the confusion associated with what facility activities fall under NSR.

The agency plans to release the NSR program review assessment along with the recommended regulatory reforms by late January.
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Comment:New source review air pollution program reforms ready for release. (Washington Alert).(Brief Article)
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Previous Article:2001: Consider it a rite of passage. (Editorial).
Next Article:U.S. EPA administrator outlines agency's overall priorities for 2002. (Washington Alert).

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