The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has reportedly approved the first U.S. air quality construction and operating permit that includes emissions-control requirements for greenhouse gases (GHG). The DEQ-approved permit is for the Nucor facility, located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

The permit will allow work to proceed on a direct reduction iron production facility, the first phase in the construction of an iron and steel-making complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana. The permit includes an energy efficiency standard for the plant as a surrogate for a carbon dioxide emissions limit. Although DEQ approved the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit for the Nucor plant’s initial phase, it placed a stay of effectiveness on a pig iron plant permit modification until a petition to EPA and a pending lawsuit are resolved. The pig iron plant already has a PSD permit. See BNA Daily Environment Report, February 9, 2011.