It has been a strong year for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) initiative to modernize the New Source Review (NSR) permitting process. The EPA celebrated its year-long endeavor to strengthen and streamline NSR, and manufacturers are recognizing the agency’s effort and many achievements. The ongoing national effort to protect our environment and improve public health through appropriate laws and regulations is a priority for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the EPA has demonstrated that through NSR modernization, it is equally committed to this effort.
The NSR permitting program is intended to protect air quality when factories, industrial boilers and power plants are newly built or modified. NSR permitting also ensures that new or modified industries are as clean as possible and advances in pollution control occur concurrently with industrial expansion. Unfortunately, complex, burdensome regulatory requirements have plagued the NSR program. This has often deterred manufacturers from utilizing technologies that lead to increased energy efficiency, thus potentially undermining the achievement of appropriate air quality and environmental policy goals. Such obstacles would cause a domino effect—slowing economic growth, job creation, technological innovation and the nation’s ability to modernize infrastructure.
Throughout 2018, the EPA demonstrated that this program is inherently flawed and must be improved. The agency answered manufacturers’ call time and again that its commitment to clean air can only be achieved by policies that provide regulatory certainty and support a sustainable environment and economy.
By actively engaging with manufacturers and through the issuance of policy memoranda and guidance documents, the EPA succeeded in reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the NSR permitting process while simultaneously ensuring manufacturers can proceed forward with making environmentally conscientious and energy-efficient improvements to their facilities. NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg stated, “At the start of the Trump administration, manufacturers asked the EPA to take a hard look at the NSR program . . . EPA responded to the challenge with a robust series of improvements to NSR. We are encouraged by EPA’s progress in this area and look forward to another strong year in 2019.”
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