Preventing Significant Deterioration Under the Clean Air Act: Baselines, Increments, and Ceilings - Part I
30 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2005
The Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program is extraordinarily complex. This Article, written in two parts, explores how the core features of the PSD program - baselines, increments, and ceilings - have been implemented during the past thirty years. The Article suggests that today's real-world PSD program bears little resemblance to the structure initially invented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and codified by Congress. Part I examines the random, chaotic nature of the baseline date and baseline area creation processes, the susceptibility of these processes to manipulation, and the EPA's acquiescence in such manipulation. Part II of the Article examines the EPA's abandonment of the statutorily mandated baseline concentrations and ceilings, and the agency's invention of an increment consumption calculation methodology worthy of a Rube Goldberg cartoon. Part II closes with the author's call for a renewed commitment to meaningful PSD baselines and ceilings.
Keywords: Clean Air Act, Environmental Law, Prevention of Significant Deterioration
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation