Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

What Is a New Source Review Permit?

The Clean Air Act (the Act) is a federal law designed to control air pollution. The Act, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is considered one of the country’s most influential modern environmental laws, and it is often referred to as one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world. 

Several programs have been established in furtherance of the Act, including the New Source Review (NSR) program. Below is an overview of NSR and its permit requirements. 

New Source Review

NSR is a Clean Air Act program that requires certain facilities to install pollution control equipment when they are constructed or when making a change that results in a significant increase in emissions. Prior to taking these actions, the owners or operators of such facilities must obtain NSR permits. Thus, NSR is often referred to as the preconstruction air permitting program. The NSR program’s purpose is the protection of the environment and public health, even as existing facilities expand, and new facilities are built. The NSR program is designed to ensure that air quality:

  • Isn’t significantly worsened in areas where the air is currently clean 
  • Isn’t significantly worsened in areas where the air is currently unhealthy to breathe 

New Source Review permits

As noted above, an NSR permit is required prior to making changes to a facility that will result in an increase in emissions. An NSR permit is an enforceable legal document that may place restrictions on:

  • The type of construction allowed
  • The amount and type of air emissions permitted
  • The operation of a facility  

In order to ensure compliance with a permit’s emission limits, each permit typically contains recordkeeping, monitoring, and reporting requirements. 

Types of pollutants regulated by the New Source Review program

The NSR program regulates several types of pollutants, including sulfuric acid mist, National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) pollutants, and hydrogen sulfide. The NAAQS pollutants include carbon monoxide, particulate matter, ozone, lead, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide.

Texas Environmental Law Attorney    

If you need assistance with your permitting needs, we are here to help. At the Law Office of C. William Smalling, we are dedicated to closely monitoring permit proceedings and helping clients ensure that air and regulatory submissions are consistent. To avoid permitting delays, we will ensure that your application submissions are technically sound and administratively complete. In addition, if you or your company have been cited for non-compliance or are facing legal action based on non-compliance, our Texas environmental law attorney will aggressively represent your interests. 

We take pride in providing our business clients with the legal tools to remain confident while navigating the complicated world of environmental regulations. If your company is facing legal action or simply needs guidance in the area of environmental law, please contact the Law Office of C. William Smalling for a consultation. 

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