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EPA Maintains GHG Thresholds, Focus on Larger Polluters

The EPA will maintain greenhouse gas thresholds that target the nation’s largest emitters, which account for nearly 70 percent of pollution from stationary sources.

The final rule will shield smaller emitters from permitting requirements, and establishes a provision that allows companies to set plant-wide emissions limits, known as Plantwide Applicability Limitations, in an effort to reduce permitting burdens on state and local authorities and large industrial emitters, the EPA said. As long as a facility’s emissions stay at or below this plant-wide limit, modifications to the structure can be made without triggering new permitting requirements.

The federal agency decided not to include smaller sources of pollution in the permitting program after consulting with state governments and evaluating the phase-in process.

The final rule affirms GHG thresholds established by the EPA in its 2011 Tailoring Rule, which aimed to reduce emissions from large stationary sources, such as refineries and power plants. The GHG Tailoring Rule will continue to address a group of six GHGs: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

New facilities with GHG emissions of at least 100,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalent will continue to be required to obtain prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permits. Existing facilities that emit 100,000 tpy of CO2e and make changes to their facilities that would increase emissions by at least 75,000 tpy of CO2e also require a PSD permit. New and existing sources with GHG emissions above 100,000 tpy CO2e must also acquire operating permits.

The EPA’s announcement follows a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling last month that upheld the agency’s limits on GHGs. Massey Energy, the US Chamber of Commerce, Texas and Virginia were among companies, organizations and state governments that filed more than 60 lawsuits against the EPA’s findings and regulations.

The EPA declared GHGs pollutants that endanger public health in December 2009, in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said the agency had a statutory obligation to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Photo by Flickr user jonasclemens, CC 2.0

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2 thoughts on “EPA Maintains GHG Thresholds, Focus on Larger Polluters

  1. Meto Areas and Cities allowing SEVERE, deadly Greenhouse pollution within their entities (not cracked down enough by EPA) include (metros) New Orleans, Philadelphia, Memphis, New York City, Baltimore, Atlanta and (states) Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Montana and Texas.

  2. The current COAL advertisment on CNN ” is it fair to for the EPA to cause a raise in affordable electricity to american citizens?” IS IT FAIR TO PROFIT FROM A SERVICE AND PRODUCT YOU PRODUCE, THAT YOU KNOWINGLY IMPOSE ON THE PUBLIC, (without choice) PROVEN TO CAUSE HEALTH CONCEARNS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS such as (death, heart ,lung ,& birth defects). Without installing ( as in previous years only recomended and was on a voluntary basis the equipment that has been long avalible to reduce the current 6 green house gasses ( chosen of the many to consentrate on presently by the EPA ) that are currently being emitted. These gases from refineries and power plants make up 70% of the total dangerious pollutants subjected upon the American taxpayer..Equipment that has been availiable since the last Clean Air Act was adopted in –1990-,and has been on a voluntary update basis to update, with no authority given to our EPA to enforce the CAA courtesy of your past lawmakers (political $ influince) ?.. Until Now! I am personaly happy to hear (as your advertisment says )you have enough fuel to provide 200 years worth of this power! Now instead of using the (new in NAME ONLY—-“CLEAN COAL”—-) spend your own dollars ( Not The Taxpayers (federal subsadised) BILLIONS awarded you annualy and research in your words “AFFORDABLE” way to utelise the availiable fuel —“CLEAN COAL”— The Surgeon General should require the refineries and power plants discharging these heavy metals and gases, to put signs up within breathing distance of these coal-fired polluting monsters– warning the public of the health risks subjected upon the public (unlike the tobacco industries required warnings, smoking is a choice 2nd hand smoke is prohibited )WHATS UP WITH THAT?

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