Issuance of Guidance Memorandum, “Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act”

Read the full Federal Register Notice.

On January 25, 2018, the EPA issued a guidance memorandum that addresses the question of when a major source subject to a maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard under CAA section 112 may be reclassified as an area source, and thereby avoid being subject thereafter to major source MACT and other requirements applicable to major sources under CAA section 112. As is explained in the memorandum, the plain language of the definitions of “major source” in CAA section 112(a)(1) and of “area source” in CAA section 112(a)(2) compels the conclusion that a major source becomes an area source at such time that the source takes an enforceable limit on its potential to emit (PTE) hazardous air pollutants (HAP) below the major source thresholds (i.e., 10 tons per year (tpy) of any single HAP or 25 tpy of any combination of HAP). In such circumstances, a source that was previously classified as major, and which so limits its PTE, will no longer be subject either to the major source MACT or other major source requirements that were applicable to it as a major source under CAA section 112.

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