Wednesday, January 16, 2013

EPA Review of DC Circuit Court Ruling on Air Standards

DC Circuit Decision on Fine Particle National Ambient Air Quality Standards Implementation Rule and New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration Rule

The EPA is currently reviewing the January 4, 2013, decision from the DC Circuit which held that the EPA should have issued its 2007 PM National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Implementation Rule and the related 2008 New Source Review (NSR)/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) rule for the 1997 PM NAAQS according to the Clean Air Act requirements for PM nonattainment areas (Title I, Part D, subpart 4), not the general requirements for nonattainment areas (subpart 1).

The Court’s decision does not affect EPA’s recent strengthening of the annual PM (signed on December 14, 2012), nor does it affect EPA’s assessment of the costs and benefits associated with meeting the new standard. The EPA will, however, address the Court decision as we develop a proposed rule for implementing the new annual standard. The agency intends to move as quickly as possible to develop the proposed rule, which will be subject to public notice and comment. The Court remanded the two rules back to the agency, but did not vacate them and did not set a deadline for EPA to issue new rules.

EPA is assessing the effect of the Court’s decision on a variety of SIP-related actions currently pending or anticipated in the short-term (for example, nonattainment area State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittals for the 2006 PM. The agency also is assessing the impact of the decision on pending NSR actions in nonattainment areas for the 1997 and 2006 standards. As EPA reviews the decision and determines the next steps, the agency is reaching out to state, local and tribal air agencies through existing workgroups and EPA’s Regional Offices. (EPA)

PM NAAQS Final Rule Published in Federal Register

EPA Announces Next Round of Clean Air Standards to Reduce Harmful Soot Pollution

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