Preventing Significant Deterioration Under the Clean Air Act: The BACT Determination - Part I
18 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2011 Last revised: 9 Apr 2014
Date Written: November 30, 2011
This Article is the sixth in a series on the Clean Air Act (CAA) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. The first five Articles, which appeared in the December 2005, January 2006, January 2008, January 2011, and October 2011 issues of the Environmental Law Reporter, focused on baselines, increments and ceilings, on the permit triggers for new facilities, on area classification and redesignation, and on the requirement that major emitting facilities comply with Best Available Control Technology (BACT) standards for each pollutant subject to regulation under the CAA. This Article is the first of two exploring how permitting authorities must go about determining BACT on a case-by-case basis, subject to EPA review and approval. Step 1 of the EPA’s preferred “top-down” procedure for making these determinations presents difficult interpretive issues, particularly as the Agency struggles to clarify its policy against using BACT to redefine a PSD permit applicant’s facility.
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