The proposed PSD/Title V Tailoring Rule was issued in September 2009 in order to avert a situation in which major source thresholds of 100/250 tpy would apply to stationary sources once EPA issues the planned Light Duty Vehicle (LDV) regulations later this month. The strategy was to raise the major source threshold to 25,000 tons per year for CO2e and set the major modification threshold at 10,000 to 25,000 tons per year of CO2e, which would avoid “absurd results” where state agencies must permit an inordinate number of PSD and Title V applications in a potentially short period of time. Since issuance of the draft rule and closing of the comment period, the EPA received a large number of comments from regulated entities, state and local permitting agencies, and Congress over the implications of finalizing the PSD/Title V Tailoring Rule.
The LDV GHG regulations are expected to be finalized by the end of March. On February 22, 2010, the EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson issued a letter to Senator Jay Rockefeller outlining several decisions made for 2010-2011 regarding the proposed PSD/Title V Tailoring Rule, including the following:
- By April 2010, EPA will issue regulations to ensure that no facility will be required to address greenhouse gas emissions in Clean Air Act permitting of new construction or modifications before January 1, 2011.
- For the first half of 2011, only facilities that already must apply for Clean Air Act permits as a result of their non-greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., existing major sources) will need to address their greenhouse gas emissions in their permit applications.
- For the second half of 2011 and 2012, EPA is considering increasing the proposed major source threshold to greater than 25,000 tpy CO2e (this level may be potentially be set at 75,000 tons per year of CO2e, or greater, based on recent testimony from Administrator Jackson, as discussed below).
Additional details on these planned changes to the Tailoring Rule were revealed on March 3, 2010 when Administrator Jackson testified before the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Jackson stated that EPA may increase the PSD/Title V Tailoring Rule’s emissions threshold from 25,000 tons per year to at least 75,000 tons per year, or as much as 100,000 tons per year. The increased emission thresholds would be used during the 2011-2012 period, with possible reduction to 50,000 tons per year after the initial period.
Trinity will keep clients apprised of developments on this rapidly evolving issue through electronic notices and upcoming webinars. If you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact Trinity at 678.441.9977.