Washington, D.C. —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced changes to the New Source Review (NSR) program. The NSR program requires new and existing plants that release any kind of pollutants into the air to obtain permits before building or modifying structures. The permits are issued only if the new buildings or the additions sport the most recent pollution-control measures.
According to the EPA, current NSR policies have "stood in the way of making numerous environmental improvements at many facilities across the nation." The NSR amendments are the result of a 10-year effort involving state and local governments, academia, pilot studies, environmental groups, private sector representatives and concerned citizens. The changes will regulate a definition of "routine maintenance, repair and replacement," which the EPA says will allow facilities to modernize and reduce energy and air pollution more efficiently. The new rule also will lift cumbersome restrictions that currently exist for investing in energy efficiency and pollution control projects.