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New Source Review Equipment Replacement Rule Published

Release Date: 10/27/2003
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-7842

(10/27/03) The final New Source Review Equipment Replacement rule is being published today in the Federal Register. The final rule was signed and announced by Acting Administrator Marianne Horinko in late August. The rule’s Federal Register publication was delayed in order to correct typographical, grammatical and other non-substantive editorial errors.

Specifics on this rule including a fact sheet and copy of the final rule as well as the errata memorandum that outlines the changes are on http://www.epa.gov/nsr . This rule was proposed in December 2002. The final rule announced in August and published today applies only to equipment replacement. The rule becomes effective 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. States, other than those who have delegated federal New Source Review programs, will have up to 3 years to revise their state implementation plans to reflect these new requirements.

The final rule states that replacement components must be “functionally equivalent” to existing components, i.e., there would be no change to basic design or to emitting capacity. It also sets a 20 percent limit on replacement cost for equipment so that there is a clear threshold for plant projects. If these restrictions are exceeded, the replacement work is subject to the New Source Review process. EPA will continue to vigorously enforce violations of the previous New Source Review rules and will enforce any violations that occur under this new equipment replacement rule.

EPA does not believe that this rule will result in any significant changes in emissions. It is a rule that will boost the reliability, efficiency and safety of industrial power plants while maintaining all of the CAA programs and standards that have driven down levels of emissions from power plants and other large industrial sources.

This final rule preserves the public health protections provided by the Clean Air Act (CAA). As this New Source Review Equipment Replacement rule takes effect, the public health protections provided by implementation of the Acid Rain program, the National Air Quality Standards and many other programs under the CAA are in place and will ensure that air quality across the country will continue to improve.

The Acid Rain control program was established to cap emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from power plants and other large sources. The program went into effect in 1995, and SO2 emissions from power plants have already been reduced by more than 40 percent from 1980 levels. EPA and states are also preparing to implement more stringent standards for particle pollution and ground-level ozone that will result in further significant improvements in air quality. There is nothing in this rule that changes the increasingly strict and absolute caps on sulfur dioxide or the new more stringent health-based air quality standards for particulate pollution and ground-level ozone.