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EPA: Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Proposed Rule

Federal Register, October 27, 2009, Page 55291-55365


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Proposed rule


EPA is proposing to tailor the major source applicability thresholds for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and title V programs of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and to set a PSD significance level for GHG emissions. This proposal is necessary because EPA expects soon to promulgate
regulations under the CAA to control GHG emissions and, as a result, trigger PSD and title V applicability requirements for GHG emissions. If PSD and title V requirements apply at the applicability levels provided under the CAA, State permitting authorities would be paralyzed by permit applications in numbers that are orders of magnitude greater than their current administrative resources could accommodate. On the basis of the legal doctrines of ''absurd results'' and ''administrative
necessity,'' this proposed rule would phase in the applicability thresholds for both the PSD and title V programs for sources of GHG emissions. The first phase, which would last 6 years, would establish a temporary level for the PSD and title V applicability thresholds at 25,000 tons per year (tpy), on a ''carbon dioxide equivalent'' (CO2e) basis, and a temporary PSD significance level for GHG emissions of between 10,000 and 25,000 tpy CO2e. EPA would also take other streamlining actions during this time. Within 5 years of the final version of this rule, EPA would conduct a study to assess the administrability issues. Then, EPA would conduct another rulemaking, to be completed by the end of the sixth year, that would promulgate, as the second phase, revised applicability and significance level thresholds and other streamlining techniques, as appropriate.


Comments. Comments must be received on or before December 28, 2009. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on the information collection provisions are best assured of having full effect if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of your comments on or before November 27, 2009. Public Hearing: If anyone contacts us requesting to speak at a public hearing on or before November 16, 2009, we will hold a public hearing approximately 30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.


Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517 by one of the following methods: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517. E-mail: Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517. Fax: (202) 566-9744. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR- 2009-0517. Mail: EPA Docket Center, EPA West (Air Docket), Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please include a total of 2 copies. In addition, please mail a copy of your comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attn: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503. Hand Delivery: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West (Air Docket), 1301 Constitution Avenue, Northwest, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. Instructions. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through or e-mail. The Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, avoid any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at Docket. All documents in the docket are listed in the index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, EPA/DC, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-1742.

Further Information

Mr. Joseph Mangino, Air Quality Policy Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (C504-03), Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-9778; fax number: (919) 541-5509; e-mail address: To request a public hearing, please contact Pam Long, Air Quality Planning Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (C504- 03), Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-0641; fax number: (919) 541-5509 no later than November 16, 2009 to request a hearing.