4 The record articles

2019 Look Ahead – Year of Action

Posted: January 15th, 2019

Authors: Colin M.  Susie B.  Eric S.  JP K.  Roy R.  John S.  Dayna P.  Frank D. 

A Year of Action // Colin McCall

I know it’s cliché, but I could swear that I just wrote the introduction to our 2018 Look Ahead article a week or so ago!  The good news is that I recall it well.  A year ago, we were gaining clarity around U.S. EPA’s upcoming activity (or lack thereof) as the current administration was getting into full swing.  I’m happy to report that we have even more clarity today; more than enough clarity to be in action.  That’s why we are calling 2019 a “Year of Action.”  Air quality regulatory activity continues to be light across the board.  U.S. EPA has placed a great deal of emphasis on reform and streamlining of the New Source Review (NSR) construction permitting program.  If I am in the shoes of an environmental manager, I want to understand how this collection of ongoing NSR reforms can improve the construction permitting process at my facility moving forward.  If the reforms present new opportunities for projects, I want to act on those opportunities now.  That leads us into our primary technical drivers in this, the Year of Action:

  1. Evaluating the collection of NSR construction permitting reforms that have been made available by U.S. EPA and evaluating historic emissions and future operational planning scenarios to determine how those reforms will help to expand your production and operations. Proactively addressing the reforms in association with facility modifications can provide competitive advantages within your marketplace.
  2. Assessing consistency in emissions reporting information between the variety of annual reports that are submitted. As public access to data increases and environmental groups become more active and better funded, understanding where publicly available data does, or does not, match is an important part of keeping your environmental house in order.  In most instances, differences in reported emissions are related to the different purposes among varied emissions reporting requirements, but those instances are important to understand.  This effort also eliminates “low hanging fruit” for environmental groups in the event of permit appeals or other actions.
  3. Documenting and planning for the transition of legacy knowledge. In the air quality arena, transitioning senior level technical knowledge and decision-making capabilities to new air quality professionals is a critical and extremely daunting undertaking.  We intend on making Legacy Planning a very intentional part of our efforts with clients in 2019.

The overall technical drivers along with a number of industry and geography-specific drivers are covered in the following sections.  We are excited to support continued growth in 2019 and working with you to accomplish your environmental and operational goals!

Pulp Mills: Are You Ready to Comply with Subpart MM in 2019? // Susie Bowden

We’ve written a lot about the revisions to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources at Kraft, Soda, Sulfite, and Stand-Alone Semichemical Pulp Mills, found at 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart MM. You may be aware of what has or has not changed for Subpart MM, but have you thought about the implementation of Subpart MM? Quick refresher: The Subpart MM amendments were published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2017 with a compliance date of October 11, 2019. Yikes! Are we already coming up on two years since the amendments were published?

Have you thought about the following important implementation considerations?

  • How will you determine “proper operation” of the automatic voltage control (AVC) if your recovery furnace or lime kiln is equipped with an electrostatic precipitator (ESP)?
  • When will you change your reporting period from quarterly to semiannually?
  • Is your current reporting format sufficient for electronic reporting?
  • How will you quantify emissions during an emissions limit or operating limit deviation?

The rule amendments require the proper operation of AVC if the recovery furnace or lime kiln is equipped with an ESP as well as documenting the proper operation of the AVC. The rule does not define AVC or proper operation, which is somewhat of a gray area and left open to interpretation at the facility. Have you given thought to how you will demonstrate proper operation and what you will document to do so? If additional instrumentation is needed, you’ll need to get the new instrumentation ordered and installed.

The reporting period is changing from quarterly to semiannually. This change in frequency requires thought and planning. If the compliance date is October 11, 2019, does the first semiannual reporting period cover July 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, which means compliance with the new monitoring allowances should be in place by June 30, 2019? Or does the first semiannual report only begin on October 11, 2019? Similarly, is your report already in a format that lends itself to electronic reporting? If not, now is the time to start changing your format ahead of the compliance date.  Consideration should be given to when and how your report will change to account for the new monitoring allowances (i.e., 2% for recovery furnaces and 3% for lime kilns, both equipped with ESPs) on the new semiannual basis. The new monitoring allowances will require a calculation change in your report.

If the affected emissions unit fails to meet an emissions limit during the semiannual period you must estimate the quantity of each regulated pollutant over the emissions limit and report it, along with a description of calculation methodology, in the semiannual report. Do you have your calculation methodology in place in the event you have an emissions limit deviation or exceedance? A similar requirement exists for a failure to meet an operating limit, but only upon request.

The items listed above are not all inclusive. We just wanted to get you thinking of Subpart MM implementation in the upcoming new year. We are happy to help you with your implementation plans. Please call Susie Bowden at (334) 855-3382 or sbowden@all4inc.com if you have any questions.

Best in Class Solutions for Continuous Monitoring Risks // Eric Swisher and JP Kleinle

It is natural for us to look back and reflect on the year that was, and the year that wasn’t.  While contributing to the 2019 Annual ALL4 Look Ahead, I decided to look back over the past contributions from ALL4’s Continuous Monitoring System (CMS) Practice Area to see how well we forecasted the future of managing CMS Data.  Since ALL4’s 2015 Look Ahead, we held true to our data and risk theme and published the following articles:

The actions taken by industry over the last several years have supported the directions and themes of our previous look ahead articles.  We are not so vain to think that industries were specifically reacting to our words, rather ALL4’s fingers were on the pulse of a fundamental change for CMS data.  Gone are the days of the “black box” mentality of CMS data and not knowing how your CMS data is calculated, averaged, or validated for compliance purposes.  We continue to experience increasing demand for CMS auditing, including third party data acquisition system verifications, to identify CMS related gaps.  CMS auditing is becoming commonplace when a facility experiences employee turnover or transition, changes in ownership or operation, changes to CMS hardware or software to name a few.  We have seen solutions to reduce and eliminate the risks identified through auditing that include implementation of CMS Monitoring (or QA/QC) Plans that document the regulatory “whys” and “hows” of CMS monitoring and clarify CMS related permit conditions.  Expanded CMS training programs for Environmental, Operation, and Instrumentation Personnel have also been a shared solution amongst industries for minimizing CMS related risks by ensuring that the knowledge needed to properly generate accurate, quality-assured CMS data is made available through employee onboarding and enrichment programs.

ALL4 has always viewed facility CMS programs as means for industries to manage their risk that results from increased scrutiny of data made transparent to regulatory agencies and the public.  ALL4’s CMS Practice Area realized, alongside industry leaders, that a properly implemented CMS program includes strategies to ensure that “institutional knowledge” is retained, documented, passed along, understood and appreciated.  ALL4’s CMS Practice Area refers to this practice as legacy planning.  Maybe it took several years for all these pieces to fit together or maybe more legacy opportunities presented themselves in 2018.  Either way, we see legacy planning shaping the future of CMS programs for industry as well as ALL4’s CMS Practice Area.  What has or will start for many as a routine gap analysis, evolves into a forward-looking CMS program that safeguards against the loss of institutional knowledge and encourages continuous improvement.  Great employees aren’t fully replaced, but forward-looking systems, structures, processes, and documentation can minimize the impact and risks when they retire, transition to another department, or move onto greener pastures.

It’s never too late to start or re-start the process of documenting and fully implementing your CMS compliance approaches.  The only question is whether you choose to be reactive when agencies start asking questions or to take a proactive approach by ensuring that your CMS compliance mechanisms are fully documented and implemented.  Please contact Eric Swisher at 610.422.1117 or JP Kleinle at 610.422.1120 with any questions regarding your next steps for minimizing your risk associated with CMS compliance approaches.

NSR Reform – What’s Left? // Roy Rakiewicz

As summarized nicely by Kayla Turney last month and by others at ALL4 over the past year, several important policy and regulatory revisions associated with New Source Review (NSR) and other air quality regulations were initiated by U.S. EPA.  The revisions were, in general, non-controversial and were intended to simplify the air quality permitting and compliance process for the regulated community.    The following key air quality-related actions were initiated by U.S. EPA:

√ November 2018 – Revised Policy on Exclusions from “Ambient Air”
√ November 2018 – Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR): Aggregation; Reconsideration
√ September 2018 – Memorandum: Interpreting “Adjacent” for New Source Review and Title V Source Determinations in All Industries Other Than Oil and Gas
√ March 2018 – Memorandum:  Project Emissions Accounting Under the New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Program
√ January 2018 – Memorandum: Reclassification of Major Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act
√ December 2017 – Memorandum: New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Requirements:  Enforceability and Use of Actual-to-Projected Actual Applicability Test in Determining Major Modification Applicability

When considered individually and in aggregate, the above actions result in a net benefit to regulated entities in the form of clarity, simplification, and streamlining of complex regulatory concepts.  Given the reform efforts of the current U.S. EPA over the last 18 months or so, we are often asked what’s left?  Based on the historical attempts to simplify the NSR program, concerns originally expressed by the regulated community early in the current administration, and rumors, we speculate and opine below on what additional actions U.S. EPA could initiate over the next 18 months related to NSR:

  1. Transition NSR Applicability to a Short-term Emissions Test – The short-term emissions test concept for electric generating units (EGUs) has been contemplated over the years and was recently part of the August 21, 2018 proposed “Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule” for existing EGUs. U.S. EPA denies that the short-term test would be expanded to other industrial sectors.  The proposed new hourly emissions test for EGUs is part of four-step applicability process, separate and distinct from the other NSR provisions, proposed at new §51.167 and §52.25.  Because the proposed hourly emissions test intended to address heat rate improvements (HRI) under the ACE rule occurs under the NSR regulations, some believe that expanding the hourly emissions test to other industries remains a possibility.
  2. Allow “Clean Unit” and “Pollution Control Project” Exemptions – Both concepts were part of the “NSR Improvement Rule of 2002,” were challenged, and were ultimately vacated by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on June 24, 2004. See my previous discussion about the NSR Reform from April 9, 2018. While struck down by the court, both concepts represent common sense approaches to streamlining the NSR process and could conceivably be re-proposed by U.S. EPA should new legal justification become available.
  3. Revise the Plantwide Applicability Limitation (PAL) NSR Provisions – The PAL provisions of the NSR regulations are arguably one of the more innovative aspects of the NSR rules, which, when initiated by an eligible facility, provides permitting certainty to that facility for 10 years or more. However, there are a few complicated aspects of the regulations that provide a disincentive to many facilities to consider this permitting option.
  4. Revise Guidance Pertaining to “Excludable” Emissions When Determining NSR Applicability – The NSR Improvement Rule of 2002 included the “actual-to-projected actual applicability test” and excludable emissions, which changed the dynamics of NSR applicability determinations to a more realistic approach with regards to emissions accounting. However, U.S. EPA has restricted the use of excludable emissions, by policy, from many NSR applicability determinations primarily associated with the introduction of a new, often “cleaner” fuel at a regulated facility.  U.S. EPA’s interpretation is that the post-project emissions increases, as applicable, are due solely to the “new” fuel.  Because the emissions associated with the combustion of the new fuel could not have occurred during the baseline period (i.e., the unit was not permitted to combust the new fuel at the time), post-project emissions associated with the new fuel cannot be “excluded” from the projected actual emissions.

While the agency has made significant changes to the NSR regulations over the past 18 months, actions to remedy the above four items would go a long way towards further simplification of a historically complex regulatory program.  Please contact me at (610) 933-5246, extension 127 or at rrakiewicz@all4inc.com.  Thanks for reading.

Emission Reduction Credit Impact on Major Air Permitting // John Slade

Over the last several years it has become apparent that the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requirement for the Northeast Ozone Transport Region (OTR) to provide Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) for both nitrogen oxide (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) for major New Nonattainment Source Review (NNSR) Permitting is beginning to be affected by a significant shortage of ERCs for VOC.  This is very important because no significant increases in VOC (or NOX) is allowed without sufficient emissions offsets, which are based on ERCs.  This situation represents an interesting anomaly because most areas in the OTR are demonstrating attainment with the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone (NOX and VOCs are precursor emissions to ozone).  Because it is a requirement of the federal CAA, it does not have to make sense, it is just a fact of NSR permitting in the OTR.  The shortage of ERCs is due in large part to the switch to cleaner, lower emitting new gas-fired generation and the shutdown of much older, less efficient and higher emitting coal-fired generation.  Unfortunately, when you shut down coal-fired generation you get significant reductions in NOx and very little reductions in VOC.

However, in the vast majority of the geographic Northeast United States, ozone formation is driven primarily by man-made NOX emissions and not by VOC emissions.  VOCs come from both human activities and from naturally occurring sources such as from trees and other vegetation.  Fortunately, the U.S. EPA implementing regulations for NSR permitting found at 40 CFR Part 51, Section 51.165 and in Part 51 Appendix S allow regulatory agencies to establish inter-precursor trading (IPT) provisions for ozone (O3) as part of their NNSR programs.  For the application of IPT, a modeling demonstration can be made for a geographic area showing that the reduction of one ozone precursor pollutant ERC (i.e., NOX) could be substituted for another precursor pollutant ERC (i.e., VOC) because the reduction of one precursor would have an equivalent or better impact on ozone formation for emissions reductions associated another precursor.  Unfortunately, only very limited IPT work has been done by any regulatory agency.   Source-specific IPT submittals are costly to prepare and are not an efficient use of regulatory agency staff time.  Fortunately, it is also possible for a source owner or operator to prepare and submit an IPT demonstration for submittal to the regulatory agency, and then for the regulatory agency to review and take appropriate action on an area-specific IPT approval.

Moving into 2019 and beyond, the increasing shortage of ERCs for VOC, especially in the OTR, will make the remaining ERCs for VOC much more expensive and could impact the viability of certain projects.  In response, facilities making major modifications involving VOC emissions may be forced to evaluate the feasibility of using IPT due to a lack of available ERCs or the inflated cost of the remaining VOC ERCs. I would also encourage the regulatory agencies within the OTR to begin to look broadly to facilitate IPT work.  In the end, the replacement of older emission sources with new, low-emitting sources will contribute to reducing emissions and improving ambient air quality. Please contact me at jslade@all4inc.com with questions.

Wait, the RMP Accidental Release Prevention Requirements Began? // Dayna Pelc

The U.S. Court of Appeals (Court) decided to waive the 30-day effective date of a rule under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and determined the opportunity for additional comments were unnecessary. Therefore, effective December 3, 2018, the U.S. EPA finalized the January 13, 2017 amendment to the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements for 40 CFR Part 68 (Risk Management Programs (RMP)). The purpose of this amendment is to improve safety at facilities that use and distribute hazardous chemicals, as defined by the RMP rule. Effective immediately, facilities must begin to update risk management plans (Plans) to comply with timelines for several emergency response activities.

Who do these regulations apply to?

The RMP regulations apply to stationary sources that hold specific “regulated substances” in excess of threshold quantities. Approximately 12,500 stationary source facilities have filed current Plans with U.S. EPA and are potentially affected by the final rule. These facilities range from petroleum refineries and large chemical manufacturers to water and wastewater treatment systems; chemical and petroleum wholesalers and terminals; food manufacturers, packing plants, and other cold storage facilities with ammonia refrigeration systems; agricultural chemical distributors; midstream gas plants; and a limited number of other sources, including Federal installations that use RMP-regulated substances.

What are the changes?

The finalized amendments for the Accidental Release Prevention Program include the following requirements:

  • Third-Party Audits
  • Incident Investigation/Root Cause
  • Safer Technology and Alternatives Analysis (STAA)
  • Coordination with Local Responders
  • Notification Response Exercises
  • Information Sharing with the Public

Updated from the original, Why Facilities Should Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive – Amendments to the Risk Management Program Rule? – (2/19/16), a summary of the final revisions is provided below. Changes since the original post are italicized.

THIRD-PARTY AUDITS

Compliance audit requirements currently exist in 40 CFR Part 68 for Program 2 and Program 3 facilities. However, the final revisions to the compliance audit requirements specify that a third-party auditor with specific credentials must perform an audit following a reportable incident as defined in 40 CFR Part 68. U.S. EPA states that “[i]t is not expected that a lot of facilities will need to hire an independent auditor since the requirement only applies after a reportable accident occurs.” U.S. EPA stated that the basis for a third-party audit requirement includes research that “shows that without sufficient safeguards to ensure auditor independence, (self) auditors are more likely to provide lenient or biased audit reports that can fail to accurately identify problems and violations by the regulated entity.” Final amendment for 40 CFR 68.79(f)(2) also states a third-party audit may be required due to “conditions at the stationary source that could lead to an accidental release of a regulated substance, or when a previous third-party audit failed to meet the competency or independence criteria of §68.80(c).” Compliance to the regulation is within 12 months of the release, or within 12 months of final determination or final decision on an appeal.

INCIDENT ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS

Owners and operators of Program 2 and Program 3 facilities must conduct incident investigations following an incident that resulted in or could have resulted in a catastrophic release (a “near miss”). U.S. EPA believes it is necessary to strengthen the current incident investigation requirements to identify the underlying reasons for a chemical accident which would lead to preventing future accidents and ensuring compliance. Under the final revisions, an owner or operator must identify the fundamental reasons why an incident occurred and the correctable failures in management systems (“root cause analysis”). U.S. EPA defined “root cause” as a fundamental, underlying, system-related reason why an incident occurred that identifies a correctable failure(s) in management systems. The final revisions also include the requirement to complete a report within 12 months of the incident.

SAFER TECHNOLOGY AND ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS (STAA)

Program 3 facilities must develop a process hazard analysis (PHA) to identify, evaluate, and control process hazards involving regulated substances. The final revisions apply to the following Program 3 facilities: paper manufacturing, petroleum and coal products manufacturing, and chemical manufacturing. The revisions require these facilities to consider inherently safer technology or design, passive measures, active measures, and procedural measures as part of its PHA.

COORDINATING EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS WITH LOCAL RESPONDERS

Program 2 and Program 3 facilities must develop and implement an emergency response program. The final revisions require affected facilities to coordinate with local responders on an annual basis, and specifically discuss the following items:

  • Determine resources needed to appropriately respond to regulated substance releases at the facility
  • Determine resources available from the facility and local responders
  • Identify capability gaps and develop plans to address the gaps
  • Decide whether facility or local responders will respond to releases of regulated substances
  • Assign response action roles and responsibilities

EMERGENCY RESPONSE EXERCISES

Currently, there is no requirement for affected facilities to exercise their emergency response plans. The final revisions require Program 2 and Program 3 facilities to test their emergency response program through notification, tabletop, and field exercises. Notification exercises are required on an annual basis, while responding facilities are required to conduct a field exercise with local emergency response officials at least once every ten years, and tabletop exercises once every three years.

INFORMATION SHARING

40 CFR Part 68 data are made available to the public and local responders. The final revisions add new disclosure elements to all facilities to adequately explain the contents of a facility’s program (without revealing confidential business information or trade secret information). Public meetings are required within 90 days of a reportable incident. The facilities are required to provide requested information of chemical hazards under section §68.210(b) within 45 days of receiving a request from any member of the public.

What are the compliance dates?

Final Rule Provisions and Corresponding Compliance Dates
Rule Provision
Compliance Date
Initiated after an RMP reportable accident?
1.  Third-Party Compliance Audits March 15, 2021 Yes
2.  Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis March 15, 2021 Yes (also required after near misses)
3.  STAA March 15, 2021 No
4.  Emergency Response Coordination Activities March 14, 2018 No
5.  Owner/operator determines facility is subject to the emergency response program requirements of §68.95 Within three years of the determination No
6.  Emergency Response Exercises ???? No
7.  Information Availability/Sharing March 15, 2021 Partially-public meeting within 90 days
8.  Update and Resubmit RMP March 14, 2022 No (but previously existing correction requirements of §68.195 still apply).

If you need assistance or have questions updating your RMP for the changes in PHA,  Compliance Audits, STAAs, Incident Investigation, and Public Information Access, reach out to ALL4’s Dayna Pelc (dpelc@all4inc.com // 610.933.5246 x169).

Getting a Little Warmer – 2019 GHG Update // ALL4 Staff

During the second half of 2018 many outstanding questions regarding whether or how electric generating units (EGUs) would be regulated with respect to greenhouse gases (GHG) were addressed when U.S. EPA proposed the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.  Further questions were addressed in U.S. EPA’s subsequent proposal to amend the October 23, 2015 rulemaking entitled “Standards of Performance for GHG Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.”  As we head into 2019, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with these recent proposals whether or not you own or operate an EGU, as well as review your status with respect to your recurring obligations under 40 CFR Part 98 (Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule).

Proposed ACE Rule

Owners and operators of EGUs have been closely monitoring the evolving commentary surrounding the ACE Rule, which was proposed as a replacement to the Clean Power Plan (CPP) on August 21, 2018.  The ACE Rule proposal made its official appearance in the Federal Register on August 31, 2018 and included the following three distinct actions:

  • Emission Guidelines for GHG Emissions and Compliance Times for Existing EGUs
  • Revisions to the Emission Guidelines Implementing Regulations
  • Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) Program

Like the CPP, much of the ACE Rule proposal focuses on providing emission guidelines for states to utilize when establishing standards of performance in their State Plans for existing sources.  It is noteworthy that the ACE Rule proposal also includes revisions to the new source review (NSR) program for EGUs.

Proposed Revisions for New, Modified, and Reconstructed EGUs

Did you know that on December 20, 2018 U.S. EPA also proposed amendments to the October 23, 2015 rulemaking entitled “Standards of Performance for GHG Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units”?  If you intend to newly construct, reconstruct, or modify an EGU, then your 2019 planning should involve a careful review of the proposed amendments so that you know how your project could be impacted by the proposed changes to the applicability requirements and emission standards for affected sources.

Mandatory GHG Reporting

Does your facility fall into one of the source categories subject to the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule?  If so, is your GHG monitoring plan up to date with the most recent amended provisions for your applicable subparts, and are you prepared to calculate and report your GHG emissions in accordance with the amended provisions by April 1, 2019?  If you are responsible for monitoring and reporting GHG emissions, we encourage you to review these amendments with your ALL4 Project Manager to ensure that you understand how your GHG calculations and reporting might be impacted during the current reporting season and beyond.

If you have questions regarding your facility’s status with regard to GHG reporting, permitting, or regulation, please contact us at 610.933.5246  or info@all4inc.com.

2019 TCEQ Updates for Permitting and Modeling // Frank Dougherty

2019 is a big year.  It’s the last time in almost 100 trips around the sun, in which another year with a “1” in the tens place will occur.  It’s also a big year for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) permitting and modeling changes.  The 2019 TCEQ updates influence how permitting and modeling projects will be developed and submitted.

What TCEQ-related Changes are on the Horizon in 2019?

ALL4 has been vigilant about monitoring the upcoming 2019 TCEQ changes, first introduced at TCEQ’s Autumn Conference held back in October 2018.  One major change is the introduction of the following new air permitting tools designed to streamline the air permitting process:

  • Electronic Modeling Evaluation Workbook (EMEW)
  • New Source Review (NSR) Application Workbook
  • Readily Available Permits (RAP)
  • Calculation Workbooks

Each tool is described below.

EMEW

The EMEW replaces the air quality modeling protocol and Air Quality Analysis (AQA) report required for minor NSR projects.  Submittal of the EMEW will be mandatory for all minor NSR permitting in TX starting June 1, 2019.  The EMEW is a Microsoft Excel-based workbook that provides tabs for modeling-related options that are required as part of minor NSR permitting in TX and closely follows TCEQ’s APDG 6232 Guidance Document.

Sign Up for Our Free EMEW Webinar

NSR Application Workbook

The NSR Application Workbook (Workbook) is designed to streamline the permitting process and improve accuracy and consistency among applicants.  Submittal of the Workbook will also be mandatory for minor NSR permitting in TX starting June 1, 2019.  The Workbook will allow TCEQ to organize permit data more efficiently and increase the ease in which ePermits are developed.  The intent behind the Workbook is to minimize applicant mistakes and act as a one stop shop for information previously requested on Form PI-1, Table 30, and Table 1(a).  The Workbook also allows applicants to more easily determine public notice applicability, Best Available Control Technology (BACT) Tier I requirements, and minimum monitoring requirements.

RAP

The RAP program streamlines the air permitting process, where a RAP has pre-determined requirements that are agreed upon as long as the equipment or process meets certain criteria.  The RAP process consolidates the public notice requirements and increases permitting efficiency as back-and-forth correspondence between the permittee and TCEQ can be eliminated.  Currently, RAPs can only be used for simple-cycle combustion turbines and compressor stations.  However, in 2019 be on the lookout for new RAP programs.  One of these newly anticipated RAP programs includes permitting a non-emergency engine used for electric generation.  Stay tuned.  

Calculation Workbooks

Lastly, 2019 is a year of TCEQ Calculation Workbooks.  The purpose of these workbooks is to create consistent calculation guidelines for applicants, reduce TCEQ review time, and decrease common mistakes or calculation errors.  The first workbook, covering painting related calculations, already exists, and was required for use on January 1, 2019.  Additional workbooks for tanks, engines, and miscellaneous fugitive emissions are anticipated to be rolled out during 2019.

If you have any questions about how ALL4 is positioned to handle the 2019 updates at TCEQ, or would like ALL4 to assist with your next air quality permitting or modeling project in TX, please reach out to me at (281) 937-7553 extension 302 or my email fdougherty@all4inc.com.

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