PADEP to Propose Substantial Air Fee Increases and New Air Fees for 2010 and Beyond
Posted: April 16th, 2009Author: All4 Staff
At the February 12, 2009 Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAC) meeting, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) introduced proposed new amendments to Chapters 127 and 139 of the State’s air regulations. The proposed changes to Chapter 127 affect Subchapter I, the Plan Approval and Operating Permit Fees. The proposed changes to Chapter 139 create a new Subchapter D entitled Testing, Auditing, and Monitoring Fees. The revised and new sections of these rules include substantial increases in current fees for various types of Plan Approvals and Operating Permits and create new fees for PADEP efforts associated with reviewing and/or taking action on a variety of submittals required of regulated sources.
The various fee increases and new fees are proposed for three (3) separate time frames: 2010 to 2014, 2015 to 2019, and 2020 and beyond. Some examples of the changes include increasing the fee for a simple Plan Approval from $1,000 to $1,300 in 2010, and to $2,000 by 2020; increasing the fee for a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) application from $22,700 to $27,200 in 2010, and to $30,000 by 2020. There will be new fees for items such as the Request for Determination (RFD) forms and substantial charges for any PADEP efforts associated with reviewing air quality modeling and risk assessments. The annual Title V emission fee is proposed to increase to $70 per ton on January 1, 2010.
The biggest surprise in the proposed rule revisions is the establishment of new fees in Chapter 139. Sources will be charged for everything from reviewing stack test protocols and test reports, to observing and/or having PADEP conduct tests. A number of fees are also proposed for sources that operate continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS). The fees vary based on the CEMS related activity and virtually everything reviewed by PADEP as part of the CEMS program will be charged a fee. For example, review of Phase 1 plans and Phase 3 test reports will be subject to separate fees, as will various CEMS level 1 through level 4 audits.
AQTAC voted 9-1-2 to present the proposed fee schedule to the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) for consideration as an adopted regulation. The EQB’s next scheduled meeting is on April 21, 2009. If the rules are promulgated as proposed, regulated sources will need to look closely at the new fees and consider the overall cost impacts when it comes time for preparing 2010 operating budgets.