Tighter EPA ‘Minor’ NSR Policy Will Help Address Colorado Permit Failures

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Becker further said that “EPA recognizes CDPHE is making significant strides in strengthening its air quality programs, including several changes to improve the evaluation and permitting of minor sources. These include new processes and guidance, increased staffing, and improved coordination across teams.”

However, Kevin Bell, staff counsel at PEER, said July 15 that “CDPHE has been aware of every fact in this report for years. While we are happy that EPA validated these damning disclosures, the state has yet to institute meaningful reforms or even fully staff the modeling division.”

In its report, EPA notes a forthcoming development that may alleviate some of the issues surrounding the Colorado minor source program. EPA has proposed to “bump up” the Denver area to “severe nonattainment” with the 2008 ozone NAAQS, set at 75 parts per billion (ppb). “This EPA action should help address the potential stakeholder concerns related to the CDPHE permitting practices.”

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