4 The record articles

Are Pennsylvania Air Emissions and Permitting Fees on the Rise?

Posted: October 24th, 2017

Authors: Christina L. 

Unfortunately, the answer is yes…eventually.  Although not yet officially proposed and opened for public comment, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has expressed interest in collecting informal comments on contemplated revisions (i.e., increases) to emissions and permitting fees.

The U.S. EPA requires that State and local air quality agencies charge sufficient fees to support the required Title V Operating Permit Program requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA).  Fees, along with civil penalties, subsidize the Clean Air Fund, which constitutes approximately 60% of the Pennsylvania Air Quality Program budget.  Within Pennsylvania, the Air Pollution Control Act (APCA) requires the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to establish fees that fund the Pennsylvania Air Quality Program.

The PADEP Bureau of Fiscal Management projects that the Clean Air Fund will have a negative balance during Fiscal Year 2021-2022.  As you can probably predict, the EQB, at the request of PADEP, will seek approval for regulatory changes to increase emissions fees for major sources, increase permitting fees, and institute new fees for several technical program activities.

Based on the Air Quality Program Budget and Proposed Fee Concepts presentation given by PADEP to the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAQ) on September 6th, PADEP is proposing to increase and create new fees for both major and non-major facilities. New fees have been proposed for several items that were previously “free” including: (1) Request for Determination (RFD) of Changes of Minor Significance and Exemption from Plan Approval/Operating Permit Risk Assessment Review, (2) Plantwide Applicability Limits (PALs), (3) Plan Approval Application Ambient Modeling, (4) review of ambient air modeling associated with certain plan approval applications (i.e., $9,000) and (5) Notification of Asbestos Abatement and Demolition/Renovation.  Additionally, existing fees have been re-evaluated with some increasing more than 2,000% (i.e., Proposed Title V Operating Permit to incorporate PAL – Slide 13 of the presentation).

The next AQTAQ Meeting is scheduled for December 2017.  ALL4 will continue to keep you abreast of the latest information pertaining to Pennsylvania emissions and permitting fees presented within the AQTAQ Meeting.

For additional information regarding specific increases that may affect your facility, feel free to review the Air Quality Program Budget and Proposed Fee Concepts presentation.  Questions? Feel free to give me a call at 610.933.5246 x135 (or email CLynch@all4inc.com).

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