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EPA Eases Permitting Requirements for Small Businesses

Release Date: 12/14/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(12/14/05) To avoid unnecessary costs and burdens, EPA will no longer require five types of small businesses to obtain federal operating permits. These businesses include: neighborhood perchloroethylene dry cleaners; small ethylene oxide sterilizers that clean laboratory equipment and other items; chromium electroplaters that make items such as chrome parts for cars and plumbing fixtures; secondary aluminum production sources like car salvage yards; and halogenated solvent cleaners that clean metal parts, electronics and other objects.

The operating permit, called a Title V permit, requires a facility to make regular reports on how it is tracking and controlling emissions and to certify each year whether it has met its air pollution requirements. The Clean Air Act states that a small business may be exempted from permits if it is "impracticable, infeasible, or unnecessarily burdensome" for the small facility to meet permit requirements.

This action does not change any requirements governing the control of emissions of toxic air pollutants that apply to these facilities -- they are still required to limit their emissions of air toxics. In addition, the air toxics standards governing these businesses already require a detailed accounting of compliance. However, the additional requirements of a permit would be very costly for these small businesses and would not provide additional assurance of compliance.

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