Cost of clean air compliance much lower than industry estimate
A study of the costs for manufacturers applying for air emission permits under new national regulations is lower than industry estimated.
The study surveyed some 500 manufacturers in Wisconsin, Oregon, Georgia and South Carolina to assess the true cost of implementing Title V of the Clean Air Act. Title V requires companies that emit certain amounts of air pollutants to document emission sources, air pollution control equipment and regulatory requirements.
In April, a report by a Washington law firm estimated that the average company would spend an average of $100,000 per facility to comply with Title V, with a total bill of $2 billion for 20,000 applicable facilities.
But the EPA-commissioned study, conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT), has shown that the costs of Title V compliance are much lower, at $63,958 per facility on average. A total cost for national compliance is estimated at $1.3 billion.
The most significant costs came from payments to outside consultants, but company personnel’s time and new administrative systems were also considerable factors in Title V spending.
The GIT study also found that corporate environmental managers believe there are benefits to Title V. Operational flexibility, that allows companies to make minor changes to processes without having to obtain a new permit, was cited by 77% of respondents as being a benefit. Meanwhile, 73% cited the regulation’s protection from environmental action during the application process as another benefit.
Title V was introduced to make it easier for regulatory authorities to enforce Clean Air Act standards as well as to help companies understand the regulations and comply with them.