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2005 Policy Positions
of the Southern Legislative Conference

10. PROPOSED POLICY POSITION IN SUPPORT OF NEW SOURCE REVIEW (NSR)


BACKGROUND

The Clean Air Act (CAA) exempted older power plants from various new pollution rules on the condition that electric generators be brought up to current standards when they upgrade facilities --- a process formalized by the CAA amendments of 1997 and known as New Source Review (NSR).  The NSR aims to bring older power plants, refineries and industrial factories into CAA compliance when they upgrade their facilities or enhance their generating capacity.  However, if plants are performing “routine maintenance” and that cost does not exceed 20 percent of the total cost of replacing the operating unit, then the facility is not subject to increased pollution controls.  There has been controversy over the specifics of “routine maintenance,” and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has attempted to cope with this.   

RECOMMENDATION

The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments (SLC) urges the EPA to defend vigorously its reforms of the New Source Review program, because they provide better definition to activities covered by NSR and are improvements that enhance the environment, while encouraging efficiency and fuel diversity.  These reforms allow routine maintenance, repair, and replacement activities, and do not weaken the Clean Air Act programs that are intended to protect public health and the environment.

 

Adopted by the Southern Legislative Conference, August 2, 2005, Mobile, Alabama

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