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EPA Opens Comment on Equipment Replacement Provisions and Updates Regulations to Reflect Court Stay

Release Date: 06/30/2004
Contact Information:

Contact : John Millett, 202-564-7842/

(Washington, D.C. - June 30, 2004) EPA has granted a request to reconsider several aspects of the equipment replacement provision (ERP), which were adopted as part of regulatory changes to the New Source Review (NSR) Clean Air Act permitting program.

In response to petitions to reconsider portions of the ERP, EPA is soliciting additional public comment on the following three issues: 1) the basis for determining that the ERP was allowable under the Clean Air Act; 2) the basis for selecting the cost threshold (20 percent of the replacement cost of the process unit) that was used in the final rule to determine if a replacement was routine; and 3) a simplified procedure for incorporating a Federal Implementation Plan into state plans to accommodate changes to the NSR rules.

In a separate action, EPA is updating the Code of Federal Regulations and restoring the Routine Maintenance Repair and Replacement (RMRR) exclusion that was in effect prior to the adoption of ERP in order to reflect an appeals court stay of the final ERP rule. On December 24, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed implementation of the ERP based upon a challenge by environmental groups, public interest groups and several states. The stay was granted until the rule could be thoroughly reviewed by the court. The regulatory update is administrative in nature and will require no change in implementation of the RMRR, which is currently in effect.

EPA sought extensive public input throughout the NSR reform process. The reconsideration and stay present an opportunity to continue to work with stakeholders on the rule. Granting reconsideration opens a 60-day public comment period and will provide another opportunity for the public to participate in this effort.

The text of the actions announced today and fact sheets summarizing them are available at: