New Source Means No Happy New Year for New England and Other States

Washington, D.C. – President Bush formally issued changes to Clean Air Act rules for utilities, refineries and manufacturers Tuesday. Many critics, including several states poised to take the Bush administration to court, say easing the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) requirements will be detrimental to public health and the environment. The states’ concerns focus on NSR’s guidelines for new technology, emissions testing, a new technique for calculating emissions levels and a cap on pollution levels set according to entire plants rather than specific components that are being upgraded.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer told the Associated Press that publishing the final rules for NSR on New Year’s Eve shows how the Bush administration "continues to try to hide its domestic agenda under the cloak of darkness." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the changes ultimately are beneficial for the environment. New York will be joined by Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey Rhode Island and Vermont in filing a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of appeals.