From The Office of Congressman Charles Bass

Washington , D.C. - U.S. Representative Charles Bass (R-NH02) today hailed a federal appeals court decision today that overturns a controversial retooling of the Clean Air Act's New Source Review program.

"New Source Review has been a key component of federal policy and an instrument for reducing the amount of powerplant and industrial source emissions that are carried over New Hampshire and the rest of the Northeast, "said Bass. "Without the upgrade requirements and technology standards called for by New Source Review when an existing plant is modified or a new plant is built, our air quality would lower and the health and safety of our citizens threatened."

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion today against changes sought by the Environmental Protection Agency. These changes would have allowed more than 20,000 powerplants, refineries, and other industrial facilities to replace existing equipment with "functionally equivalent" technology without undergoing the reviews required by the NSR program if the cost of the replacement components did not exceed 20% of the cost of the entire unit. No calculation would be performed on the air pollution effect of the equipment replacement.

"Now that this EPA plan has been again rejected, Congress should act to modernize the rules for when plants and equipment must be upgraded," added Bass. "It is time for serious debate to begin on the harmful effects on our health, economy, and environment from the current levels of mercury, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions."

Bass is a member of the House Energy andCommerce Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over power plant and industrial source pollution legislation, including the Clean Air Act. He is also the author of the Clean Air Planning Act (H.R. 1873), which would impose strict emission limits on power plant pollutions and would modernize the rules plants would use to upgrade their facilities.