EPA’s Proposed Rule for New Power Plants Could Trigger Excessive Title V Permit Fees

Proposed Greenhouse Gas Performance Standards for new power plants will have broader implications for Clean Air Act operating permit fees.

The public comment period will soon close on May 9, 2014 for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) re-proposed rule on the Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (GHG NSPS). While EPA’s proposal focuses on regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new power plants, the new standards would trigger potentially excessive annual mandatory fees for facilities with Clean Air Act (CAA) Title V operating permits, unless EPA and states adopt changes to the current Title V fee calculation methods. The proposed rule presents several alternative approaches to fee calculation, and EPA solicits comments on its proposed alternatives and other approaches to prevent excessive fees while still meeting the CAA’s mandate that Title V fees cover the permitting program’s reasonable costs.

Potential for Excessive Title V Permit Fees -

CAA Title V is implemented through 40 CFR parts 70 and 71. Under part 70, EPA approves a state’s (or local or tribal agency’s) operating permits program and the state must demonstrate that its permitting fee approach sufficiently covers all reasonable direct and indirect costs required to develop and administer the permit program. Part 71 provides for a federal operating permits program, which is functionally very small and primarily involves EPA administering the Title V permitting program in Indian country.

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