New Source Performance Standards

New Source Performance Standards in the United States

New Source Performance Standards(NSPS) in Environmental Law

Air pollution regulations that apply to new or modified stationary sources in approximately 65 specified categories, such as portland cement plants, fossil fuel steam generators, steelmaking facilities, petroleum refineries, glass manufacturers, incinerators, and many others.

The minimum level of technology to be used by these facilities in controlling their emissions is best demonstrated achievable technology (BDAT). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets emission limits in the regulations by considering how much control can be accomplished by the best system of demonstrated controls. If the EPA cannot determine emission limits, it is permitted by the Clean Air Act to require specified work practices, equipment, or design instead.

New Source Performance Standards also apply if an existing facility is undergoing significant reconstruction. The EPA generally looks at the amount of capital going into the project to determine whether the work is repair and maintenance or reconstruction. If the cost will equal 50 percent or more of the cost of a new facility, the EPA will require the source to meet the New Source Performance Standards.

In Wisconsin Electric Power v. Reilly (WEPCo), a court reviewed the issue of what types of modifications trigger the New Source Performance Standards and the Prevention of Significant Deterioration regulations. In this case, the company was engaging in a large project to extend the useful life of the equipment. It argued that it was simply repairing existing equipment, not modifying the plant. The court disagreed. The company was committing large amounts of money, totally overhauling the equipment, and extending its useful life. In the end, emissions would increase. The NSPS was, the court held, properly applied to the modified facility

The reason for requiring compliance with the NSPS when a major modification occurs is evident: the time to upgrade technology is when the source is being modified. If the work is truly in the nature of maintenance or repair, it will preserve the status quo.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

New Source Performance Standards: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about New Source Performance Standards. This part provides references, in relation to New Source Performance Standards, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about New Source Performance Standards by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about New Source Performance Standards and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about New Source Performance Standards or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to New Source Performance Standards and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting New Source Performance Standards. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about New Source Performance Standards should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to New Source Performance Standards when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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