Attorney Publications

U.S. EPA Proposed Rule on PSD and Title V Permitting for GHG Emissions


On October 27, 2009, U.S. EPA published a proposed rule for permitting Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions under the PSD and Title V provisions of the Clean Air Act. The proposal seeks comments on EPA’s plan to adjust the threshold emissions triggers applicable to PSD and Title V permitting for sources that emit GHGs; EPA is “tailoring” the thresholds because there are an enormous number of GHG sources that would become subject to PSD and Title V permitting if the thresholds for applicability were set at the current PSD and Title V triggers (250 tpy and 100 tpy respectively for most types of operations). By “tailoring” the GHG thresholds to 25,000 tpy CO2e for PSD permits, and 10,000–25,000 tpy CO2e for Title V permits, EPA will avoid having to call for, review, issue, and otherwise administer the thousands of Title V and PSD permits that would be required for sources newly subject to PSD and Title V permitting requirements solely on the basis of their GHG emissions.

The comment period expires on December 28, 2009. Likely topics for comment include:

  • the 25,000 tpy CO2e threshold for PSD applicability
  • the 10,000–25,000 tpy CO2e threshold for Title V applicability
  • USEPA authority for the rulemaking
  • use of Presumptive BACT for GHG sources subject to PSD
  • use of “General” Title V permits for GHG sources
  • use of “Permits by Rule”-type Title V permits for GHG sources
  • GHG thresholds for triggering “significance levels” under PSD rules
  • effect of rulemaking on SIPs
  • timing of rulemaking
  • “phase in” of rules

Please contact any of the Environmental, Safety & Toxic Torts attorneys if you would like to discuss the rule or are interested in providing comments to EPA.