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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3/28/03

Contact: Patricia Cabrera
609-984-1795

NJ DEP Holding Public Hearing on EPA's Proposed Changes
To Federal Clean Air Rules

(03/42) TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is holding a public hearing to discuss and hear public comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed changes to New Source Review (NSR) provisions of their air pollution control regulations.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 7, in two sessions, running from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., at the Essex County Hall of Records, Freeholders Chambers, Room 506, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Newark, New Jersey.

NSR requires existing power plants, utilities, refineries and other major sources of pollution to install modern air pollution controls when upgrades or modification are made at these facilities and result in a significant increase in air pollution. EPA' s NSR rule proposal will allow power plants outside of New Jersey to continue to avoid cleaning up their emissions, in spite of the fact that these industries contribute more than a third of the pollution impairing the State's air quality.

For many years, power plants circumvented NSR by hiding behind a provision that exempts "routine maintenance" work at facilities from the requirements to install new pollution controls. Now, EPA has proposed to exempt facilities from requirements to install these controls even, if their repair, maintenance or replacement work causes significant increases in emissions.

"These proposals trade the health of the residents of New Jersey for the economic gain of polluters who have broken the law by not cleaning up their emissions," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "EPA's proposed rules can have profound negative impacts on New Jersey's air quality and public health and it is our responsibility to challenge these regulations which are inconsistent with the original intent of the Clean Air Act."

DEP, through this forum, wants to provide an opportunity for views to be shared by interested parties on these proposed EPA rule changes and will consider them in formulating DEP's comments to EPA and future revisions of New Jersey's NSR rules. In addition, a transcript of all comments offered at the hearing will be submitted to EPA for the record.

EPA has scheduled five public hearings around the country on the proposed NSR changes; Albany, New York, is the closest hearing location to New Jersey. DEP has invited the EPA to participate in the New Jersey April 7 hearing and to present an overview of their NSR proposals and the effect these proposals will have on New Jersey's air quality.

The public can also submit written comments to the US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West (Air Docket), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room B108, Mail Code: 6102T, Washington, DC 20406, Attention Docket ID No. A-2002-04 on or before May 2, 2003.

 

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