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In addition, it would lighten the burden on a utility making modifications by holding that relatively inexpensive "low-NO) emissions. EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, to Director, Air Management Division, Regions I, III, V, and IX, at 2 (July 7, 1986) (on file with EPA). However, EPA has given particular projects a nonbinding "safe harbor" from the NSR in individual instances. Rosenberg, EPA Ass't Administrator for Air and Radiation, to Patrick M. of Environmental Affairs, New England Power Service Co.

By the late 1980s it was clear that old power plants were not being phased out at a rate sufficient to achieve reductions in overall utility emissions. Department of Energy (DOE) predicted in 1990 that over 70 percent of the nation's 1989 fossil-fuel generating capacity will be life-extended by 2010.

History of Efforts to Curtail Utility Pollution Shortfalls of localized measures.

Traditionally, air pollution control has been conceptualized primarily in local terms. Current NSPS regulations also provide that the replacement of an existing pollution control system is not a "modification" unless EPA determines that the new system is less environmentally beneficial than the old system.

This Article provides a glimpse into the regulatory machinery needed to deal with implementing just one aspect of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990: whether an electric utility's proposed renovations at one of its facilities constitutes a "modification" triggering new source performance standards and new source review programs.

Parker Editors' Summary: EPA's final decision on its proposed WEPCo rule, which addresses how new Clean Air Act provisions apply to electric utilities, is expected soon.

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