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EPA Considers Energy Efficiency as Part of BACT Rules

As the Environmental Protection Agency gets ready to issue guidance on how it will define best available control technology (BACT) for greenhouse gases from stationary sources, the EPA’s air chief is requesting feedback from agency advisors on how the government promotes energy efficiency and innovative technology, reports the New York Times.

The EPA will not require pollution permits until January 2011 for power plants, industrial plants and other large stationary greenhouse gas sources.

State regulators will determine what constitutes BACT on a case-by-case basis, reports the New York Times.

Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy said in the article that the agency is seeking advice on how the BACT process can be used to encourage energy efficiency and how a waiver to temporarily exempt companies from BACT requirements can be used to promote the development of new pollution controls.

Business groups and state regulators told the New York Times that they are encouraged by EPA’s focus on energy efficiency under BACT guidelines, although there are some industry groups that are concerned that the guidance would include switching fuels and use of emerging technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration.

There have been earlier reports that some industry groups would file lawsuits against the EPA depending on the agency’s guidance that will require large new stationary sources and other facilities to install BACT to obtain pollution permits.

The report should be finalized by the EPA’s next clean air advisory committee meeting set for May 26-27.

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