Original article by Devin Henry:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday said it would reassess the way it issues Clean Air Act pollution permits for new facilities, as a way to reduce regulatory burdens for businesses.
As part of a review President Trump mandated earlier this year, the EPA said it would undertake four new initiatives to re-evaluate how it regulates pollution.
The most notable of those is the creation of a new task force to reconsider the permitting process for new sources of air pollution under the Clean Air Act, called the New Source Review (NSR).
“The potential costs, complexity and delays that may arise from the NSR permitting process can slow the construction of domestic energy exploration, production, or transmission facilities that must undergo review,” the EPA wrote in a 15-page report on its regulations.
“In some circumstances, the NSR process discourages the construction of new facilities or modifications of existing ones that could result in greater environmental improvements. Such reactions to the NSR process slows the growth of domestic energy resources and raise energy.”
The EPA issues three types of permits for newly built or modified facilities such as power plants, which set site-specific pollution requirements.
But commenters told the EPA the review process is lengthy, complex and costly, and suggested a handful of ways to improve the process.
Administrator Scott Pruitt will convene an “NSR Reform Task Force” to assess the issue, the agency said.
The new initiative comes after President Trump ordered agencies to consider ways to cut regulations and help the American energy sector. The Energy Department also released its regulatory review on Wednesday.
Besides the new source considerations, the EPA said it would work to speed up its approval process for state plans aimed at reducing pollutants governed by the agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards, like ozone.
It will also begin conducting an evaluation of the costs and employment impact of its regulations and designate a team of employees as points of contact to help industries navigate agency rulemaking. Both measures are likely to win praise within the business and energy communities.
Article by Cole Rosengren at Waste Dive
According to Waste Management, this site receives about 787,000 tons of waste and uses 233 wells to capture the resulting gas. Once the facility is complete this gas can be used to fuel up to ten times more trucks per day. Waste Management estimates that the site has nearly 50 years of capacity remaining so this investment will be useful far into the future.
Though not directly related to last year's landfill performance guides from the EPA, these plans come as more companies and municipalities are looking for ways to manage their methane. In addition to the financial benefits from selling this gas or using it to fuel local fleets, this shift will also help meet new methane reduction requirements in states such as California.
Waste Management announced plans to shift progress metrics to greenhouse gas reduction rather than recycling tonnage in its most recent sustainability report and reducing landfill emissions were a priority for the EPA during the Obama administration. Based on the latest federal data, landfills still account for more than 80% of the waste industry's greenhouse gas emissions.
Original article by Julie Hall on the Cornerstone blog:
If you are like most environmental personnel, you have all of your air permits in your site files in case an inspector ever asks about one. You probably think that everything is covered and you are in compliance since you have all those permits.
One site had great records of their site’s permits, but still had some ghosts lurking in those records that needed to be exorcised. This is a broad topic depending on the type of facility and the age of the permit, but here are a few common problems that may be in your permits. Check out the full article for tips about how you can easily fix them.
- Outdated emission factors
- New applicable rules
- Process changes
- Permit exemptions