The Voice of Business, Industry & the Professions Since 1942
North Carolina's largest business group proudly serves as the state chamber of commerce

Air Quality

Position: NCCBI supports reasonable and effective environmental programs that protect human health and the environmental resources of North Carolina while meeting business and industry’s needs for flexibility, responsiveness and sustainability of development. In general, NCCBI recommends that programs be implemented at the state level.  Generally, we do not support new state programs that go beyond federal programs absent a clear showing that further measures are needed to protect North Carolina’s air resources.


EPA SIP Call And 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS

NCCBI supports the state’s efforts to develop a technically sound, cost-effective, state implementation plan (SIP) revision that will reduce ozone levels in North Carolina to meet the new 8-hour ozone ambient standard. NCCBI applauds DENR’s efforts to insist that EPA allow sufficient time for the state to perform a sound technical analysis before committing to a nitrous oxide (Nox) budget and to emission reductions sufficient to meet the 8-hour ozone standard. The selection of source controls and the time table for emission reductions should be justified and tailored to North Carolina’s needs. All source categories (including point sources, area sources and mobile sources) should be required to participate in needed emission reductions, based on their demonstrated contributions to ozone formation.

Regional Haze And PM2.5 NAAQS

NCCBI members recognize the intent of regional haze requirements and believe lead authority for implementation should be vested in the state air programs. EPA should be responsible for modeling protocol and model development/calibration. Working with other states in the sub-region, DENR should have the flexibility to develop a regional haze program and improvement targets that are tailored to the needs of NC and bordering states. States must have the flexibility to develop and implement regional haze measures in a manner and on a timetable that is compatible with the PM2.5  National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Federal Land Manager Involvement In PSD/NSR Review

Air Quality Related Values (AQRV) should be developed in a public forum with opportunity for stakeholder involvement. A new source should be able to locate in a non-attainment area or Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) area in close proximity to a Class I area provided the source is willing to install the necessary emission control measures and obtain emission offsets where required.  Acceptable impacts should not be set at levels so low that new source construction is virtually eliminated.  Further, regulatory requirements should be crafted in a manner that the new source has access to clearly defined acceptable impact targets upon entering the permitting process.  A high level of assurance of the time required to go through the permitting process must be given to applicants to allow for planning and effective management of resources. Once the AQRVs have been established for a Class I area, the permitting authority should be allowed to issue permits on a valid showing by the source that AQRVs are met.

New Source Review Reform

NCCBI recognizes the value of New Source Review (NSR) to the overall protection of North Carolina’s air resources. NCCBI promotes implementation of the NSR measures in a manner that ensures the prevention of significant deterioration of air quality while allowing for economic growth and prosperity of businesses in North Carolina.  For major sources that undergo physical changes or changes in the method of operation, NCCBI favors the “potential-to-potential” emissions applicability approach rather than the “past actual-to-enforceable future actual” approach.  NCCBI believes that EPA’s current Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCo) applicability approach should be expanded to all source categories. NCCBI supports EPA’s proposed exclusions (Pollution Control Project, “Clean Unit” and “Clean Facility”).

NCCBI believes that EPA should retain the Clean Air Act’s requirement that a net emission increase be due to a physical change or change in the method of operation of a source. An increase in production rate or hours of operation that results from a preceding physical change or change in the method of operation that did not by itself result in a net emission increase should not trigger review.

NCCBI favors the proposed revisions to streamline the control technology review requirements by requiring an evaluation of only those control technologies that have been demonstrated in practice. 

Title V Implementation

NCCBI promotes DENR implementation of the Title V program in a manner that avoids unnecessary, duplicative and burdensome record keeping and reporting; that avoids unnecessarily restricting NC business and industry operational flexibility; and that streamlines to the maximum extent possible permit renewals, permit revisions, compliance assurance monitoring and periodic monitoring. DENR should recognize and be sensitive to federally approved requirements in other states, and not include provisions that impede North Carolina business and industry’s ability to compete with other states.


NCCBI supports measures to address, in a fair and equitable manner, compliance situations that arise from new emission factors, new emissions’ data and revised test protocols. Giving sources adequate time to voluntarily make changes based on the new emission factor or new test data, rather than instigating enforcement action unilaterally, is appropriate and will generally yield the needed result.

Other Air Quality Issues

NCCBI is committed to working with the state and EPA to ensure that air quality regulatory issues are resolved in a manner that protects public health and welfare while meeting business and industry’s needs for flexibility and responsiveness. Other air quality issues of interest and concern to NCCBI include the development/implementation of Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards, 112(r), NC Air Toxics, Global Warming, Urban Air Toxics and EPCRA/CERCLA Continuous Release Reporting.

Working Cooperatively With DENR

NCCBI encourages the state to work closely with the regulated community when SIP revisions are being developed to deal with any non-attainment areas that are identified as a result of current ambient air monitoring of ozone and PM2.5.

Glossary of Terms:

AQRV – Air Quality Related Values

CERCLA – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and

                Liability Act

DENR – N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

EPCRA – Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

MACT – Maximum Achievable Control Technology

NAAQS – National Ambient Air Quality Standards

NCCBI – North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry

NSR – New Source Review

Nox – Nitrogen Oxide

PM2.5 – Particulate matter emissions less than 2 microns in diameter

PSD – Prevention of Significant Deterioration

SIP – North Carolina’s State Implementation Plan for the federal

         Clean Air Act

WEPCo – Wisconsin Electric Power Company

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