Agency Encourages Use of Flexible Permits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing changes and clarifications to air quality permitting rules to encourage greater use of flexible air permits, according to a Jan. 13 press release.

EPA's assessment of flexible air permits demonstrated that they enable significant environmental and economic benefits and reduce the administrative workload for permitting authorities and facilities.

This final action affects both EPA's operating permits and New Source Review programs. A facility with a flexible permit would explain its anticipated operational and construction changes for the duration of the permit term. The state, local, or tribal air quality permitting authority would include permit conditions to ensure protection of public health and the environment for all of those changes. These flexible permits do not provide approval for changes not within the scope of conditions considered at the time of the permit application. Facilities must still meet their requirements under the Clean Air Act.

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