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April 1, 2020

01 April 2020

EPA Narrows Scope of “Begin Actual Construction” Restriction Under New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Program

On March 25, EPA issued a draft memorandum outlining its revised regulatory interpretation of when site owners and operators can “begin actual construction” of new major stationary sources or major modifications to existing major sources under the New Source Review (NSR) preconstruction permitting program. Under the NSR program and Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality rules at 40 C.F.R § 52.21, a site owner cannot “begin actual construction” on these sources without an NSR permit in hand. “Begin actual construction” is defined as “in general, initiation of physical on-site construction activities on an emissions unit which are of a permanent nature. … [including] installation of building supports and foundations, laying underground pipework and construction of permanent storage structures.”

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