Thursday, February 23, 2012

U.S. EPA: Cleveland incinerator must be regulated as a major source of pollution; Start over with permitting process

CHICAGO, IL — “Unless OEPA can demonstrate this conclusion is in error, we would consider issuance of a synthetic minor permit to be inappropriate and in violation of federal PSD [Major Source Prevent Significant Deterioration] requirements. We would expect the need for OEPA to go back and issue a PSD permit for this proposed facility and that PSD applicability would need to be re-evaluated for the other pollutants to determine if they are at major source levels considering their significance level thresholds. The permit must be re-evaluated to determine whether it was major for non-attainment New Source Review for the PM 2.5 [fine particulate matter (soot) less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter] emissions.

“As noted, the fundamental question of PSD applicability is critical, and could likely result in an entirely new permit process, requirements and record, which will undergo its own EPA review. We do, however, have other comments on this draft synthetic minor permit, which we’ve provided in Appendix A. As you are aware, many people have raised environmental justice concerns and our review considered those issues as well. We have provided several recommendations to further strengthen the permit given the concerns of the community.”

— Genevieve Damico, Chief, Air Permits Section, U.S. EPA Region 5, letter to Michael Hopkins, Assistant Chief, Permitting, Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control, February 23, 2012

Read the full text of letter 

Read the City of Cleveland's response 

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