Permitting for Greenhouse Gases: Federal Standards and State Battles

Vol. 43 No. 2

Ronda L. Moore is an assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented the regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through promulgation of the federal Tailoring Rule. Implementation of this Rule under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program is, however, far from easy. Some states can implement this rule and regulate GHGs, while other states cannot until EPA approves their state’s GHG program. For an “unapproved” state, EPA uses its federal authority to regulate GHG emissions until approval of the state program. In addition, EPA is continuing to defend state and industry lawsuits over the regulation of GHGs. The agency is also adjusting to a recent court decision that requires EPA to issue PSD permits within one year’s time. Environmental counsel must stay tuned to further developments in the regulation of GHGs to assist clients in understanding which regulations apply, when, and to what authority to apply for PSD permitting.

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