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New Source Review

Basic Information

New Source Review (NSR) requires stationary sources of air pollution to get permits before they start construction. NSR is also referred to as construction permitting or preconstruction permitting.

There are three types of NSR permitting requirements. A source may have to meet one or more of these permitting requirements. The three types of NSR requirements are:

  1. Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits which are required for new major sources or a major source making a major modification in an attainment area;

  2. Nonattainment NSR permits which are required for new major sources or major sources making a major modification in a nonattainment area; and

  3. Minor source permits.

What are Permits?

Permits are legal documents that the source must follow. They specify what construction is allowed, what emission limits must be met, and often how the source must be operated. They may contain conditions to make sure that the source is built to match parameters in the application that the permit agency relied on in their analysis. For example, the permit may specify stack heights that the permit agency used in their analysis of the source. Some limits in the permit may be there at the request of the source to keep them out of other requirements. For example, the source may take limits in a minor NSR permit to keep the source out of PSD. To assure that sources follow the permit requirements, permits also contain monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements.

Who Issues the Permits?

Usually NSR permits are issued by state or local air pollution control agencies. The EPA issues the permit in some cases. State and local air pollution control agencies may have their own permit programs that are approved by EPA in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) or they may be delegated the authority to issue permits on behalf of EPA. See the permit agency contacts page for more information.

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