Don’t Second-Guess Industry Pollution Estimates, Pruitt Says

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By Jennifer Lu

The EPA will take industries at their word when they estimate how much air pollution will result from new or expanding operations, Administrator Scott Pruitt told regional agency officials.

The Environmental Protection Agency will no longer “substitute its judgment for that of the owner or operator by ‘second guessing’ the owner or operator’s emissions projections,” Pruitt said in a Dec. 7 memo to regional administrators.

He sent the memo the same day he announced that William Wehrum, recently confirmed assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, would lead a task force on the air pollution permitting program, known as new source review.

New source review requires new or expanding industrial facilities, such as power plants and refineries, to install updated air pollution controls as part of the permitting process.

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