EPA Proposes Strengthening 2020 Air Toxic Regulations to Prevent
Emissions increase and protect public health
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed strengthening a 2020 Clean Air Act rule by ensuring that industrial facilities that emit large amounts of hazardous air pollution cannot increase their emissions when reclassifying from a “major source” of emissions to a “regional source”. .” The proposed changes to the “Reclassification of Major Sources as Local Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act” rule would require sources that choose to change from major source status to local source status to establish federally enforceable permit conditions that will better protect the public. health in the face of dangerous air pollution.
These permit conditions must contain safeguards to prevent increases in emissions beyond what would be permitted under a major source emissions standard under the Clean Air Act. Facilities would still have the flexibility to pursue innovations in pollution reduction technologies. The proposed requirements would apply to all sources that choose to reclassify, including all sources that have reclassified since January 25, 2018.
“Today, EPA is proposing additional safeguards to address emissions of hazardous air pollutants from major industrial sources,” said Joseph Goffman, principal deputy administrator for air and radiation. “By ensuring that facilities do not increase emissions of toxic substances into the air after being reclassified, we will help protect communities from toxic substances in the air. This proposal will continue to allow facilities to innovate and adopt new ways to reduce air toxic emissions while maintaining emissions reductions after reclassification.
EPA’s proposal would strengthen the 2020 rule by preventing the potential for increased emissions from source reclassification. The proposal would also require that limitations taken to reclassify a primary source to a regional source be enforceable at the federal level. This would provide a level playing field for continued enforcement of the limits on reclassifications, as well as an additional level of compliance assurance.
In 1995, the EPA issued the “Once in, Always in” policy and determined that any facility subject to hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions standards would always remain subject to those standards. The policy was designed to achieve sustainable reductions in emissions from major sources and ensure continued assurance of compliance once air pollution standards for major sources are in place. Under the previous administration, the EPA issued a rule that allowed a major source of hazardous air pollutants to reclassify as a localized source at any time after agreeing to limit its emissions below major source thresholds. In response to President Biden’s Executive Order 13990, “Protecting public health and the environment and restoring science to address the climate crisis“, EPA reviewed the 2020 rule and determined that we could take steps to protect against increased emissions of PAHs. This proposal would address these concerns and prevent increased emissions of toxic substances in the air after reclassification.
Reclassification of Major Sources to Localized Sources under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act | United States EPA