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Section 11.0 New Source Review (NSR)

Major stationary sources of air pollution, as defined by the CAA, and major stationary sources which undertake major modifications are required to obtain a permit before commencing construction. The review process through which permits are issued is known as New Source Review (NSR). NSR is required for major sources whether the source or modification is located in an area that is not in attainment, or is classified as attainment or unclassifiable.

For non-attainment areas, the permits are called non-attainment NSR (NNSR) permits. Permits for sources in attainment areas are referred to as Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits. The entire program, including both NNSR and PSD permit reviews, is usually referred to as the NSR program.

The NSR program is in place to protect the air quality of the areas in which the sources or modifications are located as well as areas that might be affected by transport. These programs are integral to the success of the various SIP efforts, ensuring that new major sources and modifications to these sources do not interfere with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS, or exacerbate air quality problems in existing non-attainment areas.

As a result of changes to the federal PSD program, permitting responsibilities that had been delegated to New York related to PSD were returned to EPA in May 2004. Thus, EPA presently has the responsibility for administering the PSD program in New York.

The NSR permitting program in New York is implemented through the provisions of 6 NYCRR Part 231, "New Source Review In Nonattainment Areas and Ozone Transport Region." The Department is revising Part 231 in part to comply with the 2002 federal NSR rule that EPA promulgated and correct deficiencies that EPA identified in regards to New York's existing NNSR regulation as well as implement additional measures protective of the New York State environment. The 2002 federal NSR rule modified both the NNSR and PSD regulations at 40 CFR 51.165 and 52.21, respectively, and requires states with SIP approved NSR programs to revise their regulations in accordance with the 2002 federal NSR rule and submit the revisions to EPA for approval into the SIP. The Department's existing NNSR program at Part 231 is subject to this requirement. Another purpose of the rulemaking is to adopt a State PSD program for proposed new major facilities and major modifications to existing facilities located in attainment areas. The proposed Part 231 rule incorporates provisions from the federal PSD regulations in significant part with additional provisions to ensure enforceability of the rule and effective monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting.

From the State's perspective, major NSR is a critical tool in meeting the Legislature's air quality objectives. The program ensures that air quality is preserved in areas of the state that meet the NAAQS and does not further degrade, but actually improves, in areas of the State which currently are not in attainment of the NAAQS. The State of New York currently has areas that are designated non-attainment for ozone, particulate matter less than 10 micrometers (PM10), and PM2.5. As a result, the Department must have a NNSR program that meets the requirements of Part D of Title I of the CAA to adopt permit programs for the construction, modification, and operation of major stationary sources in non-attainment areas.

The proposed regulation is one in a series of programs intended to track pollution, ensure that sources are meeting their regulatory obligations, and maintain permits. These permits contain provisions to limit emissions of ozone precursors (VOCs and NOx), PM2.5, SO2, CO, and lead.


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