NSR rules is available in the Federal Register (67 Fed. Reg. 80186 [2002]; 68 Fed. Reg. 61248 [2003]).

The new rules promulgated by the Bush administration have been controversial. Some states, local governments, and environmental groups have argued that the new rules do not adequately address the problem posed by older, grandfathered facilities (see Box 5-3). On the other hand, affected industries generally welcome the rule changes as improving the flexibility for permit reviews, providing certainty for decisions concerning routine repairs and maintenance, and ultimately making it easier to improve the efficiency of existing facilities and limit their pollutant emissions. The committee did not assess the potential impacts of these new rules. In the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution for federal fiscal year 2003 (Public Law 108-7), signed by the President in February 2003, Congress called for an independent evaluation of the impacts of the revisions to the NSR program by the National Research Council. The evaluation will be carried out by a different committee.


In addition to the requirements for new and modified emission sources, the CAA contains explicit requirements for the imposition of emission-based standards and emission reductions on specific types of sources regardless of whether they are new or being modified. Examples of these requirements are reasonably available control technology (RACT) within nonattainment areas, and maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The Acid Rain Program in the 1990 CAA Amendments focused primarily on the SO2 cap-and-trade program but also included more modest and more traditional controls for reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from existing facilities.

Reasonably Available Control Technology

Beginning with the CAA Amendments of 1977, nonattainment areas have had to apply RACT to all major sources in their areas as part of their attainment-demonstration SIPs (see Chapter 3). RACT is determined by EPA through a process of developing control technique guidelines (CTGs) that take into account cost as well as other factors for each of a number of industrial facilities. To date, EPA has promulgated over 60 CTGs. RACT is generally implemented in each state in accordance with the CTGs. In some cases, states have gone beyond the CTGs in their RACT rules.

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