LMAPCD Significantly Revises Permitting Regulations
By Bradley E. Dillon, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
On May 15, 2013, the LMAPCD Board adopted significant revisions to its permitting regulations. The regulatory revisions had been in process for several years, and industry and the public were allowed to participate in the revisions during the process. Of particular significance, Regulation 2.02 was revised to allow for a permitting exemption for sources emitting less than five tons per year of pollutants under circumstances described in the regulations. A synopsis of the regulations is provided below.
Regulation 1.02, Definitions
Some minor revisions to Regulation 1.02 were made to conform the text in that regulation to revisions detailed in the sections below.
Regulation 2.02, Air Pollution Regulation Requirements and Exemptions
For many years, industrial sources and the LMAPCD had been at odds over how the previous version of Regulation 2.02 applied to “exemptions” that were listed in the regulations. The new regulation is an attempt to provide more certainty as to which activities are exempt and, for the first time, provide a process to identify sources that are exempt based on emission levels. The revised regulation also allows certain sources of emissions to qualify for “registration,” as opposed to a full permit application. With these changes, the LMAPCD process is more closely aligned with KDAQ’s permit process.
Regulation 2.02 Section 2 provides that stationary sources are exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit if they emit less than five tons per year of a regulated pollutant and less than 1000 pounds per year of a hazardous pollutant. Section 3 of Regulation 2.02 includes an exemption for temporary activities. In order to qualify for the temporary activity exemption, a source must submit a written application for the exemption to the LMAPCD describing the activities that are to be undertaken, the time period during which the activity will occur, and any changes in air emissions or ambient air impact expected from the activity. This application will also require payment of a fee.
Regulation 2.02 Section 4 creates a class of registered stationary sources. A stationary source that is subject to an applicable requirement in 40 CFR Parts 60, 61, or 63 and that has an uncontrolled potential to emit less than five tons per year of regulated pollutants and 1000 pounds per year of a hazardous air pollutant may qualify for registration. Existing permitted sources that have been permitted, but might now qualify for registration, may become registered sources by submitting an application to the LMAPCD and requesting the change.
Regulation 2.03, Authorization to Construct and Operate; Asbestos Demolitions/Renovation Notices and Permit Requirements
The title to this regulation was revised to clarify its applicability to all authorizations issued by the LMACPD. The revised regulation is intended to update the general requirements applicable to permit issuance and simplify the renewal and transfer provisions. It further adds provisions to transition from one type of permit to another and establishes a combined construction/operating permit for sources for which the potential to emit is less than a major source threshold. It further clarifies that stationary sources must be current on all fees or may be subject to having their permit revoked.
Regulation 2.08, Fees
The revisions to this regulation were intended to streamline the LMAPCD’s permitting efforts and to raise additional revenue. The regulation implements a new non-refundable filing fee for all new permit applications, payment for permits prior to issuance, increases Risk Management Program fees for some sources and increases the Strategic Toxic Air Reduction (STAR) Program fee for all Federally Enforceable District Origin Operating Permits (FEDOOP). Additional fees were also adopted for environmental acceptability demonstration reviews, public hearings, stack test reviews, prevention of significant deterioration applications and plant-wide applicability limits on a per pollutant basis. Many sources may be significantly impacted by these revisions to the permitting fees.
Regulation 2.16, Title V Operating Permits and Regulation 2.17, Federally Enforceable District Origin Operating Permits
The changes in these two regulations are intended to update the definition of “insignificant” and “trivial” activities that have been a source of uncertainty between the LMAPCD and permitted sources. Other minor changes were made to make both of these regulations consistent with other regulatory language revisions.
Regulation 5.00, Definitions
Regulation 5.00 contains the definitions for the STAR Program. The changes in Regulation 5.00 were intended to exempt certain small sources currently permitted under Regulation 2.17 from the requirements in Regulation 5.21 to demonstrate environmental accessibility. With this change, small sources are still subject to the general duty clause in Regulation 5.01 or evaluation under Regulation 5.30 as an area source of emissions.
To view a complete PDF of the Second Quarter 2013 issue of the Air Quality Letter, click HERE.