Preventing Significant Deterioration Under the Clean Air Act: Baselines, Increments, and Ceilings - Part II

31 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2006  

John-Mark Stensvaag

University of Iowa - College of Law

Abstract

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 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

Stensvaag, John-Mark, Preventing Significant Deterioration Under the Clean Air Act: Baselines, Increments, and Ceilings - Part II. Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 36, p. 10017, 2006; U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=876971

John-Mark Stensvaag (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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