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10.0 Other Programs

10.1 New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration

Major stationary sources of air pollution, as defined by the CAA, and major stationary sources which undertake major modifications are required to obtain a permit before commencing construction. The review process through which permits are issued is known as New Source Review (NSR). NSR is required for major sources whether the source or modification is located in an area that is not in attainment, or is classified as attainment or unclassifiable.

For nonattainment areas, the permits are called nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) permits. Permits for sources in attainment areas are referred to as Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits. The entire program, including both NNSR and PSD permit reviews, is usually referred to as the NSR program.

The NSR program is in place to protect the air quality of the areas in which the sources or modifications are located as well as areas that might be affected by transport. These programs are integral to the success of the various SIP efforts, ensuring that new major sources and modifications to these sources do not interfere with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS, or exacerbate air quality problems in existing non-attainment areas.

As a result of changes to the federal PSD program, permitting responsibilities that had been delegated to New York related to PSD were returned to EPA in May 2004. Thus, EPA presently has the responsibility of administering the PSD program in New York.

The Department has revised Part 231. The regulation was re-titled "New Source Review for New and Modified Facilities" and includes new Subparts 231-3 through 231-13. The new subparts implement nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) and attainment New Source Review (PSD).

The revised NNSR requirements are based on New York's existing NNSR program Subpart 231-2, with revisions to include selected provisions from the December 31, 2002 Federal NSR reform rule and EPA's December 21, 2007 Reasonable Possibility in Recordkeeping Rule. The newly added PSD requirements are also based largely on the December 31, 2002 Federal NSR reform rule as codified at 40 CFR 52.21.

The revisions to Part 231 change the basis of applicability for modifications and emission reduction credits (ERCs) from an "Emission Unit" basis to an "Emission Source" basis, incorporate various federal requirements, provide clarification of existing requirements, and require comprehensive reporting, monitoring, and recordkeeping that will conform to the requirements of Title V. Through this rulemaking, the Department also established a new method for determining baseline actual emissions. Baseline actual emissions will be determined by using any 24 consecutive month period of emissions in the previous five years. All facilities (no separate baseline period for electric utility steam generating units) are required to determine their baseline actual emissions using this method.

The Department retained existing Subpart 231-1 "Requirements for emission sources subject to the regulation prior to November 15, 1992" and Subpart 231-2, "Requirements for emission units subject to the regulation on or after November 15, 1992". These regulations are currently cited in many air permits issued throughout the State and retaining them facilitates the implementation and enforcement of the NSR program. Existing Subpart 231-2 was revised only to indicate that the Subpart will not apply after the date the proposed revisions to Part 231 become effective. Thus, permit applications received on or after the effective date of revised Part 231 will be processed according to the provisions of Subparts 231-3 through 231-13, as applicable.

10.2 Permitting

One of the most effective means of applying the requirements of SIPs for reducing air emissions is through an air pollution permitting program for stationary sources. New York State's air permitting program identifies and controls sources of air pollution, ranging in size from large industrial facilities and power plants to small commercial operations, such as dry cleaners.

Before 1970, few emission limitations were placed on the pollutants that could be discharged to the air. When the first federal air quality standards were issued, New York State's air was more polluted than the standards allowed in several areas. Today, however, air quality in most areas of New York meets standards that are much more rigorous than those of 1970. As new information on the health and environmental effects of air pollution has become available, new state and federal standards have been established and emission limits have been tightened to protect public health and the environment. By requiring the use of effective pollution control technology and enforcing compliance with these requirements through permitting, the Department's air permitting program has been a vital means of reducing air emissions to meet increasingly stringent air quality standards.

Title V of the CAA requires states to implement a permitting program for major stationary sources. Section 19-0311 of Article 19 of the Environmental Conservation Law directs the Department to establish a permitting program to implement Title V of the CAA. In addition, the Department has implemented a permitting and registration program for minor sources of air pollution. The Department's permitting regulations are set forth at 6 NYCRR Part 201, "Permits and Certificates." The two most common types of permits for air contamination sources are described in 6 NYCRR Part 201 include State Facility permits (Subpart 201-5) and Title V permits (Subpart 201-6).

State Facility permits are issued to facilities whose emissions are below the major source threshold (as defined in Part 201), but meet the criteria for permitting under Subpart 201-5. These are generally stationary source facilities which meet any of the following characteristics:

  • Require and have accepted an emission cap pursuant to Subpart 201-7 to limit their potential to emit to avoid the requirement to obtain a Title V permit or other applicable requirement;
  • Have been granted a variance pursuant to an air regulation implemented by the Department;
  • Are new facilities subject to a New Source Performance Standard;
  • Emit hazardous air pollutants and have a potential to emit that is below major stationary source thresholds.

Title V permits are required for major facilities under the CAA and the ECL and implementing regulations at 40 CFR Part 70 and 6 NYCRR Subpart 201-6. These include facilities which:

  • Have a potential to emit which is major as defined in Part 201;
  • Are subject to a NSPS and/or are not a deferred source category;
  • Are subject to a standard or other requirement regulating a hazardous air pollutant; or,
  • Are subject to federal acid rain program requirements.

Title V permits have greatly assisted the Department's efforts to ensure that major sources are operating in compliance with applicable air pollution control laws and regulations. Notably, the Title V permit, in one document, contains all applicable requirements for a major stationary source, the approved test methods by which a source will determine whether it is in compliance with those requirements and conditions requiring prompt reporting of all violations and emission limit exceedances. The Title V permit also includes conditions for recordkeeping, monitoring and reporting, including the requirement for facilities to prepare semi-annual and annual reports of their emissions and an annual certification that they have operated in compliance with all applicable requirements. All of this information is accessible to the public. Thus, the Title V permit provides both the Department and members of the public with a clear picture of what a facility does, which requirements are applicable to a facility, which measures the facility must implement to control its emissions of air pollutants, and how the facility will determine whether it is operating in compliance with those applicable requirements. The terms of the Title V permit are also federally enforceable which means that citizens can bring suit to address violations of the permit.

To obtain a permit, a facility owner or operator must apply to the Department using a form designated for this purpose. Applicants must supply information on the facility's emissions, the processes operating at the facility, the raw materials being used, the height and location of stacks or vents, the requirements that apply to the facility, and the controls being applied. The Department develops air pollution permits based on the information in the applications and the Department's own assessment of the rules that apply.

The information generated by the permit process is also used by the Department in its air quality planning to ensure the effective implementation of control measures needed to curb air pollution. Air permits play a direct role in the implementation of emission reduction requirements at stationary sources. For example, RACT requirements intended to reduce VOC and NOx emissions, as well as NOx budget and other requirements applicable to large sources, are set forth in regulations which serve as the source of conditions in permits issued by the Department. Permit terms and conditions in turn ensure that the facility is in fact complying with applicable regulatory requirements. The result is that the Department can actually achieve the emission reduction targets proposed in the SIP which are necessary to improve air quality in New York State.

All other non-major facilities that meet the criteria of Subpart 201-4 can obtain a minor facility registration, rather than a permit. These facilities typically have actual emissions which are less than one-half of the major source threshold.

10.3 Emission Statements

Section 172(c)(3) of the CAA requires states with a non-attainment area to "include a comprehensive, accurate, current inventory of actual emissions from all sources of the relevant pollutant or pollutants in such area, including such periodic revisions as the Administrator may determine necessary to assure that the requirements of this part are met." This inventory is derived from emission statements, collected annually from stationary sources which are located in non-attainment areas, or which exist in an ozone non-attainment area and emit NOx or VOCs equal to or greater than 25 tons per year.

Emission statements are generated by the Department's Air Facility System (AFS) and sent to major facilities yearly. The completed statements are returned to the Department each year by April 15. They represent the actual annual emissions by the source from the previous calendar year. Included in the statements is detailed facility-level and process-level information, including such things as fuel use, operating parameters, efficiency of pollution control equipment, and reportable process and fugitive emissions. A facility is required to report actual emissions for each contaminant listed on its Title V operating permit and must also report its actual emissions of each of the following contaminants: sulfur oxides; volatile organic compounds; nitrogen oxides; carbon monoxide; lead (and lead compounds); fine and course particulate matter; ammonia; and hazardous air pollutants.

There are multiple advantages to the emission statements program. The collection of such information can help identify facilities which are subject to new and existing pollution control regulations, allowing the Department to take further regulatory action if necessary. The Department also bases operating permit fees on the annual actual emissions as reported in the emission statements.

The stationary source data received from the emission statements is used to establish a base year inventory of a given criteria pollutant for SIP purposes and meet the consolidated emission reporting requirements of 40 CFR Part 51 including the submission of inventory data to the national emission inventory database. These base year (and every three year period) inventories (compiled not only of data from stationary sources but also of area source data and projections for on-road, non-road, and biogenic sources) serve as a basis to which future emissions may be compared and the efficacy of emission reduction programs evaluated. Through the pollution control programs enforced by the SIP, future year inventories should show a decline in emissions as compared to the base year inventory. Such reductions help fulfill the reasonable further progress requirements and meet the attainment goals of the implementation plan.

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