News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

US EPA Proposes Rule Limiting Reach of Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Today, U.S. EPA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (the “Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule”) that addresses which companies will be affected by the regulation of greenhouse gases in the near future.

In March 2010, U.S. EPA expects to finalize and promulgate its light-duty motor vehicle rule, which will control greenhouse gas emissions from certain mobile sources.  But the light-duty motor vehicle rule will have a very significant impact–it will trigger the application of Clean Air Act permitting requirements for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.  This is a significant trigger because millions of small sources of pollution could have been subject to stringent new permitting requirements.  To prevent the administrative and regulatory nightmare that would occur if all of these small sources were subject to new requirements, U.S. EPA today proposed a tailoring rule that would limit and phase-in the trigger.

The new proposed rule is complex and there is insufficient room in this blog to fully analyze the implications.  But, in a nutshell, any facility that emits greenhouse gases above the proposed threshold of 25,000 tons per year on a “carbon dioxide equivalent” (tpy CO2e) will be required to obtain new permits for any new construction or major modification.  This first phase would last six years.  Within five years of the publishing of the final version of the tailoring rule, EPA would conduct a study of the administration of the permitting issues.  Then, U.S. EPA would conduct another rulemaking, to be completed by the end of the sixth year, that would promulgate, as the second phase, revised thresholds for the permitting requirements.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

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