Available Now: 2023 Schedule of Hazmat & RCRA Training

EPA May Repeal "Fugitive Emissions" Exemption from Air Programs

Posted on 10/17/2022 by Roger Marks

US EPA has proposed to repeal amendments to the Clean Air Act that exempt “fugitive emissions” from counting toward key permitting thresholds under two New Source Review (NSR) programs for existing major sources in some industry categories.    

If the amendments are repealed, all major sources will be required to include fugitive emissions when determining whether a facility modification is “major” or not under NSR.

Amendments to the Clean Air Act standards made in 2008 allowed source categories that are not listed in the regulations to exclude fugitive emissions from the “major modification” count (see “Fugitive Emissions Rule”, 72 FR 77882).

The proposed change will impact existing major sources of air pollution only. The proposed action will not change the way fugitive emissions are handled when making a “major source” determination.

EPA will accept public comments on the proposed rule until December 13, 2022. In the October 14 Federal Register, EPA also says that “If anyone contacts EPA requesting a public hearing by October 19, 2022, the EPA will hold a virtual public hearing.”

What Are Fugitive Emissions?

Under the New Source Review program, EPA defines “fugitive emissions” this way:

Fugitive emissions means those emissions which could not reasonably pass through a stack, chimney, vent, or other functionally equivalent opening.

[40 CFR 51.166(b)(20)]

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) leaking from pipes or equipment at a petroleum refinery is an example of fugitive emissions that EPA provides in its proposal (87 FR 62325).

Read More: What is a Major Modification Under New Source Review?

How Does This Affect New Source Review (NSR)?

Before a physical or operational change can be made at an existing major source facility, the business must consider additional pollution that the change will cause. A modification is considered a major modification if it will cause a “significant net increase” in emissions of a regulated NSR pollutant or pollutants.  

NSR regulated pollutants are the six “criteria pollutants” and their precursors—carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, ozone (and VOCs), and lead.

Major modifications require a permit under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) programs. PSD and NNSR apply in areas designated as in attainment or in non-attainment of air pollution limits for NSR regulated pollutants, respectively.

If currently exempted major sources are required to count fugitive emissions in the future, and if those fugitive emissions cause a modification to exceed a threshold for any covered pollutant, a permit will be required before the modification can be made.

EPA May Repeal "Fugitive Emissions" Exemption from Air Programs

Final Environmental Training in 2022

Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, EPCRA, CERCLA, and more—is a major challenge.

If you’re new to the field or need an update on changing EPA rules, don’t miss Lion’s final Complete Environmental Regulations Webinar of the year on December 5—6.  

Or train on environmental compliance topics at your own pace: 

Complete Environmental Regulations
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online 

Tags: air pollution, Clean Air Act, environmental compliance, fugitive emissions, New Source Review

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

The instructor made the class very enjoyable and catered to the needs of our group.

Sarah Baker


The course is well thought out and organized in a way that leads to a clearer understanding of the total training.

David Baily

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Excellent. I learned more in two days with Lion than at a 5-day program I took with another provider.

Francisco Gallardo

HES Technician

The course was very informative and presented in a way that was easily understood and remembered. I would recommend this course.

Jeffrey Tierno

Hazmat Shipping Professional

This training broke down the regulations in an easy-to-understand manner and made them less overwhelming. I now feel I have the knowledge to make more informed decisions.

Amanda Oswald

Shipping Professional

The instructor was probably the best I ever had! He made the class enjoyable, was humorous at times, and very knowledgeable.

Mary Sue Michon

Environmental Administrator

My experience with Lion classes has always been good. Lion Technology always covers the EPA requirements I must follow.

Steven Erlandson

Environmental Coordinator

The instructor was energetic and made learning fun compared to dry instructors from other training providers.

Andy D’Amato

International Trade Compliance Manager

The instructor was very dedicated to providing a quality experience. She did her best to make sure students were really comprehending the information.

Stephanie Venn

Inventory Control Specialist

Given the choice, I would do all coursework this way. In-person courses go very fast without the opportunity to pause or repeat anything.

Ellen Pelton

Chemical Laboratory Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

The definitive 10-step guide for new hazardous materials shipping managers. Quickly reference the major considerations and details that impact hazmat shipping compliance.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.