Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final greenhouse gas "Tailoring Rule," which defers Clean Air Act greenhouse gas (GHG) requirements for many small businesses for up to six years.

The rule sets thresholds for GHG emissions that define when businesses must obtain a permit to modify or construct under the New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program, and a permit to operate under the Title V operating permit program. The rule defers the requirements of these permitting programs to limit which facilities will immediately have to get PSD and Title V permits. Smaller facilities are deferred for up to six years from the requirements. EPA will also consider whether to permanently exempt some facilities and whether there are ways to streamline the permitting process. The rule sets applicability thresholds based on the amount of CO2 or its equivalent (CO2e) potentially emitted by a facility.

In general, existing small businesses with potential CO2e emissions of less than 75,000 tons per year will not be subject to PSD and Title V permitting requirements until at least July 1, 2013. Additionally, by the end of April 2015, the EPA will complete a study on remaining GHG permitting burdens if smaller sources are required to comply.

For more information, go to epa.gov/apti/video/pdfs/tailoring.pdf.