Loring Quoted on the EPA’s Reinterpretation of the Clean Air Act’s Permitting Program

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Loring Quoted on the EPA’s Reinterpretation of the Clean Air Act’s Permitting Program

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Law360

Partner David Loring was quoted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent reconsideration and approval of an EPA 2009 final action that clarified when a facility should aggregate separate projects to determine if a major modification permit is required under the Clear Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) permitting program.

The EPA’s final action affects project aggregation - that is, whether a number of smaller, but related, projects within a facility must be aggregated for the purposes of determining whether emission increases from a project are significant. If the increases are deemed significant, the project often must obtain a major modification air permit under the NSR program.

David said that while EPA’s final action on project aggregation does provide additional clarity for when separate projects should be combined to evaluate emission impacts, there's no guarantee that this will lead to lesser permitting. He added that there were no changes to the actual regulations themselves, just to the EPA's official interpretation.

"I don't think that this allows a source to avoid permitting. I think it gives them a little bit more clarity ahead of time, when they're doing their analysis."

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