Industry declares victory in NESHAP case

Industry declares victory in NESHAP case
Published: 22 April 2014

Tagged Under: NESHAP PCA USA Environmental 

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected, in part, petitions from the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups to vacate the 2013 Portland cement national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) rule, the PCA has said.

The Court sided with EPA and PCA about the revised particulate matter (PM) standard and extended compliance deadline, but rejected EPA’s affirmative defense provision, instead saying that the Clean Air Act vests courts – not EPA – with authority to issue civil penalties in civil suits.

The PCA has stated that the outcome is a major victory for the cement industry and the EPA, whose revised rule will help save cement producers billions of dollars, while preserving and even adding domestic manufacturing jobs.

In a press statement, PCA’s President & CEO Gregory M Scott praised the panel for understanding that EPA’s revised rule struck the proper balance between rigorous and realistic. “PCA is very pleased that the DC Circuit panel supported EPA’s revised portland cement NESHAP standards and the Agency’s revision of the cement NESHAP compliance date. The compliance date reset is providing PCA members with the additional time needed to comply with the NESHAP standards. Such time is essential to properly complete the planning, engineering, permitting, testing and construction of the various new technologies that will be necessary to implement the revised standards.

“EPA’s revised cement NESHAP rule struck the right balance in establishing compliance limits that, while still extremely challenging, are realistic and achievable. Today, the court agreed with EPA’s balancing of these important issues. The revised standards and compliance period are essential to preserving jobs at domestic cement facilities, providing direct support for an American manufacturing industry that is critical to our nation’s infrastructure.

"PCA is disappointed that the court did not support that portion of EPA’s revised cement NESHAP rule that established an affirmative defense with respect to emissions during the start-up, shutdown or malfunction (SSM) of a cement manufacturing plant. How EPA can address the complex issue of SSM will have to be re-examined in light of the court’s decision. The court also did not address states' ability to enact such affirmative defenses. PCA looks forward to working with EPA on achieving a positive result on the SSM issue in the near future."