The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA’s) New Source Review (NSR) program requires electric companies that build new power plants to undergo review for environmental controls before construction work begins. NSR also applies if electric companies modify their existing units by making "non-routine" physical or operational changes that result in a significant increase in emissions of a regulated pollutant from that source.
Recently, EPA began to apply NSR to routine system maintenance and repair activities. This stricter interpretation of the program makes it difficult for electric companies to improve the efficiency of their generating units without triggering NSR enforcement.
NSR is one of the most complex and burdensome programs of the federal Clean Air Act. Relief is needed to reform the NSR program so that it does not impede safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.
Use these resources to learn more about the NSR program, EPA's enforcement actions against the industry, and how coal-based electric generators are improving their facilities: