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December 21, 2010

MADISON - The state Natural Resources Board has approved an emergency rule exempting small businesses, farms and others from federal greenhouse gas regulations recently adopted under the Clean Air Act. The emergency rule, approved at the board's Dec. 8 meeting in Madison, is based on a similar federal rule designed to limit permitting and control requirements to the largest industrial sources.

The new federal greenhouse gas regulations go into effect on Jan.2, 2011 and are intended to address large sources of greenhouse gases and the impact those gases have in global climate change. The way in which these new federal regulations were originally adopted under the Clean Air Act had the unintended effect of imposing permitting and control requirements on small sources of greenhouse gas such as small businesses, farms, and possibly even some large multi-family residential heating systems. The emergency rule corrects this by setting higher threshold limits below which small sources will not be subject to regulation.

"The emergency rule mirrors federal rules and is necessary to bridge the gap between now and the time that we can publish a permanent rule in state law," said Andrew Stewart, DNR air program manager. "The federal government gives Wisconsin authority to enforce the Clean Air Act within the state but in order to do so we must include these laws as part of our state regulations. That is what we'll be working on in the coming year."

An emergency rule is temporary and intended to address immediate concerns until a permanent rule process that includes public and stakeholder input and testimony and legislative oversight can be completed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Stewart - (608) 266-6876

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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