New Source Performance Standards

Section 111 of the 1990 CAA Amendments authorizes the EPA to establish new source performance standards for any new stationary air pollution source category that causes, or significantly contributes to, air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. The new source performance standards should reflect the degree of emission limitation achieved by applying the best demonstrated system of emission reduction. In considering the best, the EPA must balance the level of reduction against cost, other environmental and health impacts, and energy requirements. Table 4.2.2 presents a list of new source performance standards.


The CAA, as amended, provides for the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) program. This program ensures that sources of air pollutants in relatively unpolluted areas do not cause an unacceptable decline in air quality. Under this program, no major source can be constructed or modified without meeting specific requirements, including demonstrating that the proposed facility is subject to the BACT for each regulated pollutant. A major source is one that emits more than 100 tons per year of regulated pollutants.

In nonattainment areas, proposed sources undergo a new source review. This review includes permits for the construction and operation of new or modified major sources that require the LAER. In nonattainment areas for ozone, a major source is one that emits as little as 10 tons of pollutant per year. The precise definition of a major source varies with the severity of ozone exceedances in the area.

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