Preventing Significant Deterioration Under the Clean Air Act: The BACT Determination— Part I

December 2011
ELR 11101
John-Mark Stensvaag

PSD permits issued to major emitting facilities must include BACT standards for each pollutant subject to regulation under the CAA. These standards must be determined by permitting authorities on a case-bycase basis, subject to EPA review and approval. Step 1 of the EPA’s preferred “top-down” procedure for making these determinations presents difficult interpretive issues, particularly as the Agency struggles to clarify its policy against using BACT to redefine the applicant’s facility.

John-Mark Stensvaag is Charlotte and Frederick Hubbell Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources Law at the University of Iowa College of Law.

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