Original Press Release
NAM Urges EPA Not to Reconsider Johnson Rule on Carbon Dioxide Permits for Power Plants
Press release date: February 17, 2009
Manufacturers Defend Previous Memorandum on BACT Guidance
WASHINGTON, D.C. February 17, 2009 -- The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has filed a motion to intervene in a case involving whether preconstruction permits for new power plants granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must include "best available control technology" (BACT) for carbon dioxide.
In the Deseret Power decision in 2008, the EPA Environmental Appeals Board rejected a contention by the Sierra Club that such permits should include BACT for carbon dioxide, but sent the case back to the EPA to reconsider whether to impose the requirement under its discretionary authority, and to develop an adequate record for its decision. It encouraged the EPA to consider whether the issue in this case should be resolved "in the context of an action of nationwide scope, rather than through this specific permitting proceeding."
Former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson issued an interpretation guidance memorandum on December 18, 2008, concluding that PSD permits (for the Prevention of Serious Deterioration of air quality) do not need to include BACT limits for greenhouse gases. The Sierra Club is challenging that guidance, and the NAM, along with other business groups, is supporting it.
Today, new EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced she would review the Johnson decision. "This is most unfortunate," said Quentin Riegel, NAM Vice President for Litigation and Deputy General Counsel. "If the environmental groups succeed in having this policy overturned, the number and types of facilities requiring EPA permits would explode resulting in an impassable regulatory gridlock that would overwhelm permitting authorities and bring new permits to a halt. Even department stores, schools and office buildings would have to have Clean Air Act preconstruction permits.
"The NAM believes that programs under the decades-old Clean Air Act are not the appropriate mechanisms for dealing with climate change," Riegel said. "Congress should address this issue in a new and comprehensive manner that will inflict no harm on the struggling U.S. economy."
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.