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EPA Completes Framework for Greenhouse Gas Permitting Programs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing the final series of actions that will ensure that the largest industrial facilities can get Clean Air Act permits that cover greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions beginning in January 2011. These actions are part of EPA's common sense approach to GHG permitting outlined in the spring 2010 tailoring rule.

The first set of actions will give EPA authority to permit GHGs in seven states (Ariz., Ark., Fla., Idaho, Kan., Ore., and Wyo.) until the state or local agencies can revise their permitting regulations to cover these emissions. EPA is taking additional steps to disapprove part of Texas' Clean Air Act permitting program and the agency will also issue GHG permits to facilities in the state. These actions will ensure that large industrial facilities will be able to receive permits for greenhouse gas emissions regardless of where they are located.

In the second set of actions, EPA has issued final rules that will ensure that there are no federal laws in place that require any state to issue a permit for GHG emissions below levels outlined in the tailoring rule.

EPA has worked closely with the states to ensure that the transition to permitting for GHGs is smooth. States are best suited to issue permits to sources of GHG emissions and have experience working with industrial facilities. EPA will continue to work with states to help develop, submit, and obtain approval of the necessary revisions to enable the affected states to issue air permits to GHG-emitting sources.

Beginning in January 2011, industries that are large emitters of GHGs, and are planning to build new facilities or make major modifications to existing ones, must obtain air permits and implement energy efficiency measures or, where available, cost-effective technology to reduce their GHGs emissions. This includes the nation's largest GHG emitters, such as power plants, refineries and cement production facilities. Emissions from small sources, such as farms and restaurants are not covered by these GHG permitting requirements.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/nsr



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