EPA eyes revamp to Trump-era air pollution permit regs

By Sean Reilly | 03/08/2024 01:38 PM EST

The proposal aims to improve the New Source Review program, which safeguards communities from emission increases from industrial sources.

Emissions from the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant.

Emissions rise from the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant in Kansas. Charlie Riedel/AP

This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. EST.

EPA is planning to toughen some air pollution permit requirements, just as industry groups are predicting that a separate decision to strengthen a key standard will make it much harder to get the go-ahead for new manufacturing and power projects.

Under a draft rule, the agency would revisit a 2020 change to the thresholds for deciding whether a planned plant expansion or other upgrade warrants scrutiny under the New Source Review program, which aims to protect communities from increases in industrial air emissions.


The Trump-era shift to what are known as “project emissions accounting” requirements was backed by industry and opposed by environmental advocates. In 2021, EPA Administrator Michael Regan agreed to pursue new regulations following a petition by several groups. The new, densely technical proposal is aimed at improving implementation and enforceability of the New Source Review program, according to a summary.