On July 12, 2011, Illinois signed into legislation House Bill 1297, which made numerous changes to the Illinois Environmental Act. Within 1 year of the effective date of the legislation, the Illinois Environmental Permit Agency (IEPA) was tasked with identifying the types of permits for which Permitting By Rule (PBR) would be appropriate.   PBR programs allow for the construction and operation of certain categories of common emissions units without operators having to submit a permit application and wait for the Agency to issue a site-specific permit. Instead, the operator of an emissions unit subject to a PBR simply agrees to meet applicable requirements published in the regulation. Thus, PBR programs offer a much quicker, less burdensome path to win approval for projects that solely involve the common emissions units regulated under the rule. Examples of emissions units that may be covered by the PBR program in Illinois include gas-fired package boilers, certain stationary combustion engines and batch cement plants. IEPA expects to publish a first draft of proposed PBR regulations this summer. When the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) publishes the proposed rules, they will be available here.