Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Small Businesses and Local Governments 6 NYCRR Parts 200 and 201
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) is proposing to revise and update 6 NYCRR Parts 200, General Provisions, and 201, Permits and Registrations (Part 201). The last substantial overhaul of Part 201 occurred in 1996. Since that time, many of the requirements in Part 201 have become outdated and in need of revision. The proposed rulemaking will revise several components of the existing Part 201 to further clarify their requirements and simplify its implementation, making it more efficient and cost effective for affected facilities. The scope of the existing Part 201 is not changed as a result of proposed revisions.
The proposed changes to Part 201 include the addition of several exempt and trivial activities, the removal of outdated transition plan requirements and many other minor language corrections. The provisions for emission sources operating on a temporary basis will also be clarified. Permitting thresholds for 62 persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or toxic compounds are also being added in order to more closely monitor and where possible control their emissions. Facility owners and operators still holding outdated certificates to operate will be required to update their current permit by submitting a permit or registration application. Lastly, the Department is proposing to limit the term of issuance for state facility permits and registrations to 10 years, ensuring that the air permits and registrations issued by the Department contain the most up to date information possible.
Effects on Small Business and Local Governments
The proposed revisions to Part 201 are not expected to directly affect small businesses and local governments. The owner or operator of an air emission source is required to obtain and comply with a permit or registration for that source. Small businesses and local governments are currently required to comply with this requirement under the existing Part 201. The proposed revisions will make the terms and conditions of Part 201 easier to understand and implement, simplifying the compliance process.
The proposed revisions will also require facility owners and operators that still hold outdated certificates to operate to update those certificates to current permits or registrations. Affected facility owners and operators will be required to complete a permit or registration application and go through the necessary approval process. In addition, the Department is proposing to add a list of permitting thresholds for certain persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) compounds. This list may require that a new or existing small business emitting one or more of these compounds obtain either a permit or registration from the Department. Such a determination will be based on the actual emission levels of the compound in question. There may also be recordkeeping requirements associated with facilities that emit PBT compounds. Many of the potentially affected facilities are already required to keep some form of records relative to these compounds, and any additional recordkeeping would amount to only a more detailed accounting of their emissions.
Lastly, the Department is aware of local governments that issue their own air pollution control permits in addition to those required by the Department. This action is conducted solely at the discretion of local agencies and is not mandated by Part 201.
Small businesses and local governments that own or operate a non-exempt stationary emission source are currently required to complete and file an appropriate permit or registration application for the construction and operation of that facility. Once a permit or registration is issued, the facility owner or operator is required to comply with all terms and conditions of that permit or registration, and ensure that it accurately reflects facility operations. This requirement will not change as a result of these proposed revisions.
Small businesses and local governments are able to comply with the requirements of Part 201 without contracting with any professional services. In some cases however, small businesses and local governments may choose to hire a private consulting firm to assist them with meeting their obligations under Part 201. The decision to employ a consulting firm is voluntary, and any associated costs are incurred at the discretion of the affected facility.
Compliance costs for small businesses and local governments are not expected to increase as a result of the proposed revisions. In fact, the proposed revisions to Part 201 may have a positive impact on costs to small businesses and local governments. The proposed revisions seek to clarify and simplify the permitting process, leading to an increase in effectiveness and efficiency. This increased efficiency may actually decrease compliance costs for affected facilities. A more detailed analysis of the costs associated with this rulemaking is presented in the Regulatory Impact Statement.
Emission sources operated by small businesses and local governments tend to be minor facilities subject to state facility permitting or registration. The Department estimates that the annualized compliance costs for a minor facility are approximately $300. In addition, there are costs associated with completing and filing permit applications. The Department estimates that the cost of preparing and filing a permit application ranges from approximately $1,500 to $7,200 in the downstate region and $1,800 to $4,000 in the upstate region depending on the size and number of emission sources at the facility. Permit application costs will be incurred by affected facilities in ten year intervals as their permit or registration comes up for renewal, allowing facility owners and operators time to anticipate them.
Minimizing Adverse Impacts
The proposed revisions to Part 201 are not expected to have an adverse impact on small businesses and local governments. New and existing facilities are already required to comply with the current version of Part 201, and the scope of the regulation is not changed as a result of the proposed revisions. These proposed changes are intended to simplify the permitting process by making it easier to understand and more efficient.
In order to assist small businesses with environmental compliance, the Department provides free and confidential support through the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP), administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation. Interested facility owners and operators can contact SBEAP staff for free and confidential assistance filing permit and registration applications, as well as for advice and strategies for maintaining compliance with environmental regulations. This program provides small businesses with a cost saving option while ensuring that they are in compliance with the requirements of Part 201.
Small Business and Local Government Participation
Prior to this proposal, the Department solicited the input of potentially affected parties through a series of stakeholder meetings and outreach activities. A fact sheet detailing draft changes being considered for Part 201 was distributed to potentially affected parties via the Business Council, and all feedback received was carefully considered. In addition, interested parties will have the opportunity to review and comment on the Department's proposal as part of the formal rulemaking process.
Economic and Technological Feasibility
Part 201 does not contain any technological requirements for affected facilities. In addition, the Department does not expect a significant change in the economic feasibility of Part 201 as a result of these revisions. Affected facilities are currently required to obtain permits and registrations from the Department. Several thousand facilities of various sizes are currently operating in compliance with Part 201 throughout the State. This is expected to continue after these proposed revisions are promulgated.
The proposed revisions to Part 201 do not require the imposition of a cure period because there are no changes to any existing violations or penalties, and no new violations or penalties are established.