Setting Up a Compliant Process for New Source Review

01 July 2011
By Sandra Ringelstetter Ennis

In this article from Natural Gas & Electricity, NERA Senior Vice President Sandra Ringelstetter Ennis discusses  setting up a compliant process for  the New Source Review (NSR) Program, which Congress established as part of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments to ensure the installation of state-of-the-art emissions control technologies at new power plants, or at existing power plants that undergo major modification. The NSR Program is a preconstruction program that addresses the impact on ambient air quality from newly constructed or existing pollutant-emitting facilities that are "modified."  Ms. Ringelstetter Ennis explains that there is no bright-line test provided in the regulations to distinguish routine maintenance, repair, and replacements from "modifications." She goes on to say that, even for activities that do not trigger NSR, an emission analysis is required to determine if there is a reasonable possibility of a significant emissions increase and recordkeeping and reporting in accordance with the rules may apply. She concludes that a cross-functional, consistent, and well-documented process to review and analyze most activities will meet the requirements of the NSR regulations as well as preserve a defense against future claims of violations.