AGC Weighs in on Green House Gas Provision in Energy Bill, Wins Short-Term Safeguard
During consideration of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140) enacted in December, AGC signed on to a letter to Congress that explains the implications to the construction industry of setting a national air quality standard for carbon dioxide (CO2). If CO2 is deemed a criteria pollutant under the Clean Air Act, any “major construction” (new or modifications) that increases CO2 would be required to get special permits known as Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits.
Major sources include most large buildings heated by furnaces using fossil fuels or buildings of any size using natural gas cooking source in commercial kitchens, among others that potentially emit more than 250 tons of an air pollutant. Current PSD permits can cost hundreds of thousands of even millions of dollars and take years to obtain. The permit also requires the installation of best available control technology (BACT). This process is conducted at the state level on a case-by-case basis and can take 12 to 18 months to complete. It would halt most building construction.
The final bill included a savings clause so that PSD permits are not triggered by the renewable fuels mandate included in the bill. The renewable fuels mandate amends the Clean Air Act in a way that would arguably regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2. AGC, along with a coalition of stakeholders, will continue to work with Congress to assure appropriate safeguards are enacted to protect the construction industry from the PSD process.
For additional information, contact AGC’s Karen Bachman at email@example.com.
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