April 24, 2018, Lakewood, Colorado – A major court case; EPA v. DTE Energy Co. spurred confusion regarding the US EPA’s involvement and stance on New Source Review (NSR) preconstruction permitting requirements. These requirements are meant to determine what types of regulations and permits are necessary for manufacturers to obtain prior to construction that may create new pollutants. The case alleged that DTE violated the regulations by not submitting NSR applications for a major increase in net emissions. The planned overhaul project of their Michigan power plant projected a post-project emission increase of 3,701 tons per year of sulfur dioxide and 4,096 tons per year of nitrogen oxides.1 In 2013 the Sixth Circuit sided with DTE, but in 2017 they remanded the decision and sided with the US EPA.
This case brought about a recent memo from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in attempts to offer guidance regarding the Agency’s interpretation of the NSR requirements and explain how the EPA plans to proceed in exercising its authority related to NSR applications and regulations. To read the full memo, click here.