Title V Renewal Best Practices: Burden or Opportunity?
Posted: April 15th, 2020Authors: Colin M.
This article is part of ALL4’s 4 The Record: Quarantine Series.
Do you have a Title V Operating Permit renewal coming up? If so, how do you hold the renewal process? Is it a strategic opportunity or an obligatory paperwork exercise? From our perspective, Title V renewals represent an opportunity rather than another box to check. In that spirit, here are some “best practices” that apply to your Title V renewal application process:
- View the Title V renewal process as an opportunity to clarify and improve your permit! Make unclear conditions clear. Make conditions that are difficult to certify compliance against easy to certify compliance against. Convert production limits into emissions limits to allow more operational flexibility. Examine opportunities to revise monitoring approaches, frequencies, or averaging periods to reduce burden and improve compliance. Make sure all the emissions units on the permit are still onsite and will be operational in the future. This seems obvious but is easy to lose sight of now that we are typically in the third, fourth, or even fifth renewal cycle for our operating permits. This once every five-year (or longer) event is also a good time to train new staff and to provide a better understanding of the “why” and “how” behind complying with each permit condition.
- Allow time (if you’re preparing internally) and/or budget (if you are seeking external help). Title V renewals have turned into check the box exercises rather than strategic opportunities in many cases – if they are treated as the latter they can create ongoing efficiency if conditions are streamlined and can minimize possible compliance issues if they are used to get environmental staff more familiar with the permit. As with any good thing – accomplishing those objectives takes time.
- Know the stakeholders. Consider your internal review process in terms of who from a facility management perspective needs to be involved and how information should be communicated to them. If you have new regulatory agency permit writers plan for more time to educate them on your permit. Understand if there could be any public comment on your renewal application (environmental groups are increasingly using Title V renewals as a venue to comment on permit conditions).
- Include proposed permit condition language for all of the proposed changes! This gets the facility closer to a permit that is clearer internally and typically allows the state agency to be more efficient in their review.
- Closely review the regulatory agency statement of basis (or equivalent for that agency) and draft permit conditions, especially if new requirements are being incorporated into the permit due to rule changes. Many agencies will share draft permit conditions and a statement of basis prior to issuing the final permit. Make time to closely review those conditions (and don’t forget to review the general conditions)! It is the last easy opportunity to make the permit as clear and efficient as possible, but often times comes up suddenly and while there are other seemingly more pressing things going on. Move this task alongside the other high priority items on your list.
- Submit the renewal application as far in advance of the due date as possible. Title V renewal applications are typically due 180 days in advance of the expiration of the existing operating permit. Having a determination of administrative application completeness in hand from the agency prior to the submittal deadline is ideal.
If you have any questions about these best practices feel free to contact me at email@example.com or at (908) 328-9429. Happy permitting!