The Environmental Protection Agency says it will only apply its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule to large “stationary sources.”
The decision came in a Clean Air Act proposal in February in which EPA says it will limit its GHG rules to:
- new facilities that release more than 100,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions, or
- existing facilities that when modified release more than 75,000 metric tons of GHGs.
That’s good news for small businesses, most of which almost certainly fall below the emission levels listed by EPA. However the reprieve from GHG regulation may not last forever.
EPA only says it won’t expand its GHG Tailoring Rule to smaller facilities “at this time.”
EPA says it’s holding back only because states aren’t capable right now of dealing with the flood of GHG permitting that would be unleashed if EPA regulated everybody.
Permit flexibility offered
For those that are regulated, EPA is proposing to relax the Tailoring Rule to give facilities more operational flexibility.
EPA wants to let facilities:
- use plantwide applicability limits on overall GHG emissions, and
- qualify for synthetic minor permits in which a facility accepts lower GHG limits in exchange for reduced permitting requirements.
GHGs regulated include CO2, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.