This document has been developed to assist those who are unfamiliar with the NSR program and its implementation to gain a working understanding of the program. The reader is cautioned to keep this in mind when using this document for general program guidance. Any information in this document can not be referred or used for legal purposes. Should there be any inconsistency between this document and the regulations (including any interpretational policy statements made pursuant to those regulations), the regulations, interpretations, and policies shall govern.

The examples provided in this document are hypothetical. This document is for illustration purposes only. NSR and PSD issues are complicated and each project is unique, therefore, the Agency (IEPA) will review each individual project case by case based upon the actual situation of the facility. These examples are designed to impart a basic understanding of the NSR regulations.

Special Note: On July 23, 1996 the USEPA published proposed revisions to the federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) rules. The USEPA states that "the proposed changes are intended to reduce costs and regulatory burdens for permit applicants, while still ensuring that emissions from new or modifying major stationary sources of air pollution will not interfere with the efforts to attain and maintain the nation's air quality standards and goals." They further state that "if adopted, the proposed reforms will significantly reduce the number and types of activities at sources that would otherwise be subject to major NSR under the existing NSR program regulations, including the new and revised requirements imposed by the 1990 Amendments." According to a USEPA study, the proposed revisions would exclude an estimated 50 percent of sources that might otherwise be subject to major NSR. The information contained in this guidance document will likely require significant revision upon the promulgation of the proposed PSD and NSR revisions, depending upon the final version of the revised rules.

Guidance Organization

This document is organized into three parts. Part I contains twenty frequently asked questions and answers related to NSR and PSD. Part I will impart a basic understanding of NSR and PSD issues.

Part II provides a total of six flow charts which are helpful in determining applicability of NSR and PSD regulations. These flow charts are self-explanatory.

Part III contains a total of four examples specifically related to NSR.

Introduction and Overview

Title I of the Clean Air Act is the basis for the federal rules for nonattainment area new source review (NSR) and for attainment area prevention of significant deterioration (PSD). Any stationary source is required to obtain a construction permit prior to construction of an emission unit in Illinois pursuant to 35 Ill. Adm. Code Subtitle B. In a nonattainment areas, a source is subject to NSR if the project constitutes a new major source and/or major modification. NSR regulations in Illinois are contained in 35 Ill. Adm Code Part 203, however, PSD regulations are in 40 CFR 52.21.