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Georgia A&WMA Regulatory Update Conference: A Recap

Posted: June 5th, 2018

Authors: Stacy A. 

The Georgia Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) held their annual regulatory update conference on May 16, 2018.  The event included various panels and presentations from industry representatives, consultants, Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GEPD), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).  The key topics that were addressed during this year’s event are summarized below:

Major New Source Review (NSR) Guidance from U.S. EPA

The most popular topic of the day was the various major NSR permitting guidance memos that have been published by U.S. EPA about project emissions accounting, source and/or project aggregation, Actual-to-Projected-Actual emissions, etc.  GEPD’s message to facilities regarding the updated major NSR guidance was clear: talk to your state regulators early on in project planning/permitting to determine how the state is approaching the new guidance and how facilities can incorporate the guidance into permitting proposed projects.  While GEPD has indicated that they will be implementing most of the published U.S. EPA guidance, they are reacting to the new guidance just as much as facilities and consultants are reacting to it, that is, with a degree of uncertainty.  It is better to have additional conversations with GEPD early on in permitting projects so that facilities, consultants, and state regulators can work through the new guidance together and prevent headaches along the way.

Georgia-Specific Regulatory Updates

The Board of Natural Resources has voted to adopt three proposed revisions to the Rules for Air Quality Control codified at Chapter 391-3-1.

  • The first revision, codified at 391-3-1-.03(8) for Permit Requirements, removed the “Additional Provisions for Ozone Non-Attainment Areas for Counties that were Formerly Part of the 1-hour Ozone Non-Attainment Area.”  These provisions were removed because the area has been re-designated to attainment status and the U.S. EPA has revoked the 1-hour ozone standard.
  • The second revision, codified at 391-3-1-.03(10) for Title V Operating Permits (TVOP), relaxed the major source permitting thresholds from 25 tons per year (tpy) to 100 tpy of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) for 13 counties that were previously designated as severe nonattainment areas.
  • The final revision, codified at 391-3-1-.03(9) for Permit Fees, revises the dollar-per-ton rate for calendar year 2017 emissions fees and also creates a permit application fee.  The permit application fee, discussed in a previous ALL4 blog, will be effective March 1, 2019.  GEPD has added the permit application fee because revenue from annual facility emissions fees have decreased as a result of decreasing emissions.  The income from the permit application fees will stay within GEPD’s TVOP program.  The Draft Air Permit Fee Manual has been updated with the revised dollar-per-ton rates for annual emissions and includes the new application fees for review.

If you have any questions on U.S. EPA published major NSR guidance, project permitting with respect to U.S. EPA NSR guidance, or Georgia-specific regulatory updates, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 678.460.0324 x213 or sarner@all4inc.com.  Thanks for reading!


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