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Illinois EPA says it’s met goal on small-business legislation

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett says the agency has met its target of registering 3,000 small sources since the 2012 inception of the Registration of Smaller Sources program, part of a major regulatory streamlining effort designed to reduce the burden and costs on small businesses.

The Registration of Smaller Sources program was created in response to legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on July 12, 2011. Public Act 97-0095 streamlined the environmental permitting process in Illinois, making the process easier for small businesses to open and expand business in Illinois. Through the legislation, the Agency established the ROSS program, which allowed low-polluting small businesses to register with the Illinois EPA instead of completing the permitting process.

The program was developed through a collaborative effort of the governor, members of the General Assembly, Illinois industry and the Illinois EPA.

“The ROSS program saves time, money and the environment,” Quinn said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and this program makes it even easier for them to continue doing business in Illinois.”

“The ROSS program is a clear example of multiple stakeholders working together in the best interest of the state,” said Illinois EPA Director Bonnett. “ROSS allows the Agency to dedicate resources to the largest sources of emissions in order to better serve businesses concurrent with economic growth and enhanced environmental protection.”

Among several benefits to small businesses is the need to simply register instead of being required to apply for and obtain a permit prior to constructing and operating. Under ROSS, small businesses no longer need to wait for the Illinois EPA to complete an application review and issue a permit before opening for business.

ROSS sources are still required to maintain records for inspection by the agency including descriptions of emission units, associated control devices, control efficiency or emission rates, documentation of actual emissions and calculations demonstrating eligibility for ROSS.

The ROSS program applies to sources whose combined emissions account for less than one percent of the total air emissions in Illinois. Prior to the ROSS program, more than 3,000 Illinois small sources represented just 1 percent of the air emissions in Illinois. The larger sources, more than 2,750, represented the remaining 99 percent of emissions.

Illinois EPA projected an estimated 3,000 sources would be eligible to register through the ROSS program. Illinois EPA continues to maintain a robust database of these small emission sources. The agency also continues to track and oversee these sources, who must still comply with all applicable air pollution control requirements. The Agency retains the ability to inspect and enforce against a source to ensure compliance with all applicable statues and regulations.

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