February 28, 2024

Cassidy, Sinema Introduce Bipartisan Clean Air Act Permitting Reform

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize permitting under the Clean Air Act. The Modernizing Clean Air Permitting Act ensures air quality standards remain above naturally occurring levels, limits future administrations from imposing overly stringent standards, and provides incentives for businesses to implement pollution control technology.  

“Everyone wants to breathe clean air, but Clean Air Act permitting is weaponized against progress,” said Dr. Cassidy. “These targeted reforms streamline permitting, create jobs, and encourage the adoption of the latest technology to clean up the air for our communities while supporting jobs in Louisiana. ”

“Arizona is home to the resources and businesses that serve as the bedrock for the clean energy technologies of the future. Our bipartisan legislation responsibly updates the Clean Air Act to help develop new clean energy technologies, attract more businesses to Arizona, create strong jobs for Arizona families, and ensure clean air for generations to come,” said Senator Sinema.

Specifically, the Modernizing Clean Air Permitting Act: 

  • Revises the treatment of background levels, recognizing the impact of natural disasters and international emissions;
  • Updates the criteria by which the EPA can review and revise standards to ensure that areas reach compliance before a new lower standard is imposed on a community;
  • Reclassifies major sources as area sources if a stationary source demonstrates the actual or potential emissions of pollutants fall below the Clean Air Act standards;
  • Reforms standards of performance for new stationary sources, promoting emissions reduction technologies that are demonstrated and appropriately commercialized; and
  • Addresses the treatment of pending permits by allowing permittees that have received draft permits to operate under the confines of that existing permit rather than new standards requiring a new permit.   

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