Focus On Air
New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Program

General NSPS Information

NSPS Notebook


What is NSPS?
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 required that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develop New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new and modified stationary sources. The NSPS was created in the Clean Air Act, Title 1, Section 111 and Section 129 (Solid Waste Combustion). The regulations are located in Title 40, Part 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

NSPS establish technology-based standards applicable to criteria pollutant emissions. Some NSPS also target non-criteria pollutants, such as acid mist, landfill gas, and fluorides. NSPS establish the minimum control requirements, known as “best demonstrated technology” for all facilities within a specified category. In addition, some standards developed are directed toward existing sources. These standards, known as emission guidelines, are either adopted by the state within their implementation plan or implemented through a federal plan.


Each standard is aimed at a specific industry and/or emission unit. Each standard includes emission limitations (may include requirements for control equipment), monitoring, testing, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.

What pollutants are regulated by the NSPS program?
The pollutants regulated in the NSPS program are:

  • Particulate Matter (PM)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
  • Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
  • Opacity
  • Dioxins/Furans
  • Fluorides
  • Sulfuric Acid Mist
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Total Reduced Sulfur
  • Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Emissions
  • Municipal Waste Combustor Metals
  • Municipal Waste Combustor Acid Gases (SO2 and Hydrochloric Acid – HCl)

Some of these pollutants are also regulated within the NESHAP program (Air Toxics).

What has been done to reduce emissions?
State and Federal air quality programs have been regulating industrial emissions since the 1970’s. Progress continues as more regulations are developed.

EPA is required by the Clean Air Act to review each NSPS subpart every 8 years (5 years for solid waste combustion units - incinerators) to determine if the emission limits, controls, and other requirements need to be revised. When EPA is reviewing requirements, EPA must consider the emission limitations and reductions that are currently achieved in practice.

How are the regulations implemented in Nebraska?
The NDEE Air Quality Division adopts, implements, and enforces the federal NSPS standards for much of Nebraska. Omaha Air Quality Control and Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department are responsible for the air quality programs in their areas.

The NDEE will generally wait up to one year after EPA finalizes a regulation prior to adopting the rule into the air quality regulations. The wait period includes approval by Nebraska’s Environmental Quality Council and Nebraska’s governor, and federal court cases (if the rule, or part of the rule, has been litigated at the federal level.) However, Nebraska may choose not to adopt a standard into Title 129, because the source category covered by the standard would never be located in Nebraska. The standards adopted by Nebraska found in 40 CFR Part 60 are found in Title 129 Chapter 18.

EPA Region VII in Kansas City, KS has oversight of the NSPS implementation in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri. More information can be found on their NSPS website at www.epa.gov/region7/air/nsps/nsps.htm*.

Who is affected by NSPS Regulations?
A wide variety of businesses, both large and small are subject to NSPS regulations. Examples of affected facilities include: boilers (greater than 10 MMBtu/hr), large storage tanks (storing volatile liquids like gasoline and ethanol), reciprocating internal combustion engines, grain elevators, incinerators, landfills, and petroleum refineries.

The affected facilities subject to the NSPS depends on the type of unit, size of unit, material handled, and date of construction, modification and/or reconstruction. Each subpart will specify the affected facilities subject to each subpart. All sources subject to a NSPS Subpart are also subject to NSPS Subpart A – General Provisions.


(See attached file: NSPS Source Categories.pdf)

* This Page contains links to Non-NDEE websites, these links will open in a New Tab or Window

SizeFile Name
27 KB NSPS Source Categories.pdf