EPA Issues Technical Corrections to MATS and Utility NSPS
Three years later, in February 2015, EPA proposed corrections to this major Final Rule. The changes proposed in 2015 were intended to:
- Resolve conflicts between the Rule’s preamble and regulatory text;
- Make corrections inadvertently left out of the 2012 Final Rule; and
- Clarify language in the regulatory text.
In its corrections to the 2012 Final Rule, US EPA proposed to remove an affirmative defense to civil penalties for violations caused by malfunctions. Sometimes, despite EHS personnel’s best efforts to comply with the Clean Air Act, an equipment or control malfunction can cause emissions in excess of acceptable thresholds. When this happens, an “affirmative defense” is designed to help shield the business from prosecution.
The affirmative defense for malfunctions referenced in the 2012 rulemaking was vacated by a DC Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014 in the case NRDC v. EPA. Therefore, US EPA has removed it from the Final Rule.
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