The EPA is working to formalize the ban on CAA “emergency” defenses

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez (March 30, 2022 at 6:57 p.m. EDT) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sought to formalize a ban on legal defenses under the Clean Air Act, which are often used by plant operators when they face emergencies against the have broken the law.

EPA, under President Joe Biden, is looking to complete a rulemaking process initiated in 2016 under the Obama administration, which proposed a rule prohibiting “affirmative defenses,” which are currently part of the CAA’s Title V Implementing Rules. Title V requires that major sources of air pollution receive operating permits and certify compliance at least annually.

That rule was never finalized, and the Trump administration backed away from that approach.

“Provisions for positive defense in an emergency allow …

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