DEEP: Air Permits- Frequently Asked Questions

Air Permitting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
 
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Technical Questions

 
 
Section 22a-174-3a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA) requires subject sources of air pollution to obtain an NSR air permit before commencing construction.
 
Generally, if you are installing a new individual piece of equipment that has potential emissions greater than 15 tpy of any individual air pollutant (10 tons per year or more of any federal Hazardous Air Pollutant) then you would be required to apply for and obtain a New Source Review (NSR) permit unless you meet an exemption or are able to operate under one of our “permit by rule” regulations.  There are other NSR applicability triggers and exemptions in RCSA  section 22a-174-3a(a) and those applicability triggers and exemptions should be reviewed for your specific source.
 
DEEP has developed a NSR Air Permit Wizard to aid you in the process of an initial permit applicability determination. In the meantime, DEEP also has a New Source Review Program Fact Sheet that provides general information regarding the NSR permit program and applicability criteria. 
 
These documents, along with other permitting assistance information, are available on our Air Permit Assistance webpage.  If you have further questions regarding your source, please feel free to call the Engineer of the Day or set up a Pre-Application Meeting by calling (860) 424-4152.
 

 
 
Though potential emissions from a source may be greater than 15 tpy, external combustion units, automotive refinishing operations, emergency engines, non-metallic mineral processing equipment, and surface coating operations may be installed and operated under the provisions of RCSA sections 22a-174-3b or 3c, in lieu of obtaining an individual permit if they can  meet the requirements in those sections.
 
RCSA section 22a-174-3b specifies material usage limits, operating practices and record keeping requirements for individual pieces of equipment. RCSA section 22a-174-3c has premises wide limits for the various categories of equipment and generally less stringent operating requirements and less record keeping. RCSA section 22a-174-3d, on the other hand, specifies permit by rule requirements operating a combined heat and power system.
 
 

 
 
For the NSR permit program, processing time for a typical application, based upon recent experience is less than 180 days. Past performance is not a guarantee of future processing timeframes. In order to expedite application processing we recommend that you utilize the Air Permitting Application Review meeting process, assure that your application package is properly completed at the time of submittal, and that you promptly reply to any requests for information.
 
 

 
 
Section 22a-174-33 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA) contains the requirements of the Title V program.  If you determine that your premises is considered a Title V Source as defined in RCSA section 22a-174-33(a)(10) and do not meet any of the various exemptions from Title V permitting outlined in RCSA section 22a-174-33, then you must apply for and obtain a Title V permit.
 
DEEP also has a Title V Operating Permit Fact Sheet that provides general information regarding the Title V operating permit program and applicability criteria. 
 
All currently issued Title V permits are available on the Title V Permit Program webpage.
 
These documents, along with other permitting assistance information, are available on our Air Permit Assistance webpage.  If you have further questions regarding your source, please feel free to call the Engineer of the Day or set up a Pre-Application Meeting by calling (860) 424-4152.
 


 
 
If a premises has potential emissions of any regulated air pollutant equal to or greater than the Title V thresholds, as defined in RCSA section 22a-174-33(a)(1)(E)&(F), but have actual emissions below 80% of such thresholds, excluding greenhouse gases which must be less than 100% of its threshold, the premises may be eligible to register under the General Permit to Limit Potential to Emit from Major Stationary Sources of Air Pollution(GPLPE).
 
The GPLPE enables the owner or operator of the premises to cap their potential and actual stationary source emissions at levels lower than the Title V thresholds, thereby eliminating the need for obtaining a Title V permit. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to: paint spray booths; metal degreasers; metal plating and surface treatment operations; printing operations; boilers, generators, and other fuel burning equipment; incinerators; stationary internal combustion engines such as diesels and turbines; chemical reactors and mixers; volatile liquid storage; rock crushing operations; and may include other manufacturing or processing operations.
 
Registration under the GPLPE is required to be submitted and approved in writing by the DEEP in order for the operation to be authorized under this general permit.
 
  

 
When are registrations under the GPLPE which was issued on November 9, 2015 due?
 

The General Permit to Limit Potential to Emit from Major Stationary Source of Air Pollution (GPLPE) was issued on November 9, 2015. The previous GPLPE will expire on November 19, 2015. For facilities that have historically used the GPLPE as a means to limit potential emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants and avoid applicability of federal NESHAPs (aka MACT standards or EPA’s “Once In Always In” Policy), you are cautioned to submit a registration for re-registration under the 2015 GPLPE on or before November 19, 2015.  Generally speaking, facilities that do not have the potential to emit Hazardous Air Pollutants at or above the Title V thresholds have more time to review the 2015 GPLPE and submit their re-registrations for coverage. Pursuant to RCSA section 22a-174-33(f)(2), the owner or operator of a Title V source shall apply for a Title V permit within 90 days of receipt of notice from the commissioner that such application is required or 12 months after becoming subject to Title V, whichever is earlier; however it is recommended that a registration for authorization under the GPLPE be submitted as soon as practicable to limit emissions from the premises below Title V thresholds.

 

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Can I operate an emergency engine under RCSA section 22a-174-3b to limit the emissions from such engine below Title V applicability even though I was not required to obtain a New Source Review permit under RCSA section 22a-174-3a or former RCSA section 22a-174-3?
 
Yes, provided you satisfy all of the applicability requirements of RCSA section 22a-174-3b.   In the case of an emissions unit that did not trigger New Source Review (NSR) applicability, you would be electing to operate the emissions unit “without obtaining a general permit issued pursuant to 22a-174 of the Connecticut General Statutes”  (i.e. the General Permit to Limit Potential Emissions) to impose a practicably enforceable limit on the emissions from such unit below Title V applicability.  There are certain instances in which a unit might not have triggered NSR applicability, but could still satisfy the applicability requirements of RCSA section 22a-174-3b, such as a unit registered under former RCSA section 22a-174-2.
 
 

 
 
A New Source Review air permit is issued to an individual piece of equipment at a premises.  The permit contains equipment design specifications, operational limitations, monitoring, record keeping and reporting requirements, testing schedules, and emission limitations to ensure that, at a minimum, emissions will be in compliance with state and federal criteria pollutant and hazardous air pollutant regulations and the proposed activity will not cause any significant deterioration of air quality.
 
 
 
A Title V operating permit is a premises-wide permit that brings together all applicable state and federal air pollution control requirements in a single permit.  It provides a means of implementing federal maximum achievable control technologies (MACT) standards and acid rain requirements.  The permit also contains applicable monitoring, testing, record keeping and reporting requirements to assure compliance with the applicable requirements contained in the permit.
 
All currently issued Title V permits are available on the Title V Permit Program webpage.
 


 
 
Costs of obtaining a NSR permit vary depending on whether it is a new source or a modification/revision to an existing source, the size of the source, and the types of emissions reviews that are required to be conducted for the particular source.  The complete fee structure is specified by RCSA section 22a-174-26 and further adjusted by CGS section 22a-6f(d).  All fees must be paid prior to the issuance of any permit.
 
As an example, the following is a review of all the potential costs involved in obtaining a NSR permit for a new piece of equipment that is a new major source: 
 
 

Type of Fee

Fee

Notes

NSR Application Fee

$940

The application fee is applied towards the permit fee below

Application Public Notice Fee

Varies

~$200-$500

Applicant is required to publish a notice of application in the local newspaper

Permit Fee

$6250

Fee for New Major source

BACT Review Fee, if applicable

$1750

This fee is charged for each pollutant requiring a BACT review

LAER Review Fee, if applicable

$1750

This fee is charged for each pollutant requiring a LAER review

Tentative Determination

Public Notice

Varies

~$200-$500

DEEP will publish this public notice in the local newspaper and bill the applicant

Other fees that may be applicable are emission test fees and late fees.

 
 
Costs for obtaining a Title V permit are minimal because Title V sources are charged annual emission fees based on how much pollution they actually emit during the year in accordance with RCSA section 22a-174-26(d).
 
Typical costs for obtaining a Title V permit are:
 
 

Type of Fee

Fee

Notes

Title V Application Fee

$0

  

Application Public Notice Fee

Varies

~$200-$500

Applicant is required to publish a notice of application in the local newspaper

Permit Fee

$0

 

Tentative Determination

Public Notice

Varies

~$200-$500

DEEP will publish this public notice in the local newspaper and bill the applicant

Late fees may also be applicable. After permit issuance, annual emission fees are charged in accordance with RCSA section 22a-174-26(d).

 
 
The cost for obtaining a registration under the General Permit to Limit Potential to Emit (GPLPE) is limited to the registration fee which is currently $2,760 as specified in the current GPLPE.  The GPLPE is renewed every five years and the registration fee must be paid each time a source registers under the new GPLPE.
 
 

 
What are the payment options for application, permit and registration fees?
 
An application or registration submitted to the DEEP must be accompanied by the required application or registration fee.  An applications for a NSR minor modification also provides the option to pay the permit fee up front as well as to streamline the process.  Fee payments may be completed by check or money order made out to DEEP, State Transfer Invoice (state agencies only) or by credit card (Visa, Master Card or Discover only).  If paying by transfer invoice or credit card, submit the application or registration with a note requesting payment be made by transfer invoice or credit card along with your name, email address and phone number.  This will allow the Central Permit Processing Unit (CPPU) to create an invoice for payment and contact you to compete the payment.  Please note that the application or registration is considered incomplete and will be held in CPPU until the application or registration fee is received.
 
 

 
 
Most NSR permits do not expire, but may, on a case by case basis, be issued for up to five years.  For those issued with expiration dates, it is required that a renewal application be submitted at least 120 days prior to the expiration date.

Title V permits expire on a date no later than five years after the date the commissioner issues such permit. To renew a permit, the Permittee must submit a sufficient renewal application no later than 12 months prior to the permit expiration date.

GPLPE registrations expire 5 years from the date the GPLPE permit was issued.  The current GPLPE expires on November 19, 2015.  
 

 
 
The State of CT has primary responsibility for running the Title V permitting program along with major and minor NSR permitting programs.
 
EPA regional offices have oversight responsibilities over state programs, including:
 
• Reviewing state program submittals and revisions to state programs,
• Periodic review of state programs,
• Reviewing and commenting on draft state Title V and major NSR permits, and  
• Reviewing of monitoring or other reports required by Title V permits.
 
 
The DEEP Public Participation Permitting Fact Sheet contains information regarding opportunities for participation in the permitting process.
 
The DEEP also maintains a listing of permits that are currently in public comment period.
 


 
 
When violations are found, the DEEP uses its available enforcement tools to ensure compliance with environmental laws. These tools include notices of violation and formal enforcement and may include monetary penalties and corrective actions.
 
Information regarding DEEP’s enforcement options can be found on the Air Enforcement home page.
 
 
If the citation is followed by the phrase “as amended from time to time” or some similar statement, then the citation refers to the most recent version of the federal register.  Otherwise, the citation refers to the version of the federal register which was in place at the time the regulation was adopted.  If there is any question as to the appropriate version of the federal register to cite, please call the Engineer of the Day by calling (860) 424-4152.
 
 

 
I bought/sold a company with emission units that have existing individual air permits and/or air registrations.  Do I need to apply for a transfer of these air permits and/or registrations?
 
Yes. The transfer of any individual New Source Review air permits and/or registrations shall be registered with the commissioner within 30 days of the transfer of ownership of the facility.   For more information regarding permit transfers, please see the CT DEEP Permit Transfer Fact Sheet.  The current fees to transfer an air permit or registration are located on the Permit Transfer Form.
 
It is recommended that facilities first evaluate alternative compliance options before filing for the transfer of air permits or registrations.  For example, emission units may no longer meet applicability requirements of RCSA section 22a-174-3a or they may achieve compliance by operating under RCSA sections 22a-174-3b, -3c or -3d.  In those cases, the source may request a revocation of their original permit or registration instead of filing for a transfer.
 
If you are transferring multiple permits and/or registrations from different Bureaus within the DEEP, the Compliance Assurance Office coordinates the multimedia transfer within the different Bureaus. Please contact the Office of Planning and Program Development by calling (860) 424-3003 to coordinate the multimedia transfer.
 
 

 
I bought/sold a company with an existing Title V and/or Title IV permits. Do I need to apply for a transfer of these permits?hat are my obligations with respect to the new 1-hour ambient air quality standards for NO2 and SO2 when submitting a permit application?
 
Yes. The transfer of a Title V and Title IV shall be registered with the commissioner within 30 days of the transfer of ownership of the facility.  A Title V and Title IV permit transfer differs from individual permit or registration transfers because a Title V or Title IV transfer is completed by issuing a permit revision.  The current fees to transfer an air permit or registration are located on the Permit Transfer Form.
 
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What are my obligations with respect to the new 1-hour ambient air quality standards for NO2 and SO2 when submitting a permit application?
 
Requirements for demonstrating compliance with the ambient air quality standards which have been incorporated into Connecticut’s State Implementation Plans (SIPs) are described in the general instructions for permit applications ( DEP-AIR-INST-200 ).  These new standards, while not yet regulated through Connecticut’s SIPs, are covered under federal rules.  EPA has issued guidance in memos dated June 29, 2010 for the 1-hour NO2 standard and August 23, 2010 for the 1-hour SO2 standard regarding compliance demonstrations for PSD sources of these pollutants.    In accordance with that guidance, DEEP will require compliance demonstrations for the NO2 or SO2 standards for all permit applications which trigger the major source threshold or major modification threshold for NOx or SOx respectively.  Additionally, minor sources which trigger modeling for these pollutants based on the Connecticut SIP approved ambient air quality standards, shall be assessed for compliance with these standards. 

Not all sources will require modeling for compliance with these new 1-hour standards as part of their permit applications.  For example, a source which is subject to a minor modification not affecting the NOx or SOx  emissions characteristics would not require an assessment with the application.   Nevertheless, it may be prudent for the source operator to assess compliance with the standard as part of normal planning exercises, as no source shall cause or contribute to a violation of the standard and Connecticut will, as part of its eventual SIP submittal, review such compliance.
 
 

 
 
Sources subject to 40 CFR 63 Subpart T, National Emission Standards for Halogenated Solvent Cleaning, are required to determine potential-to-emit according to that subpart for the purposes of determining if the facility is a major source of federal Hazardous Air Pollutants.  Sources that are determined to be major for HAPs are subject to Title V permit requirements.   Note however that federally enforceable permit conditions can impose limitations which prevent a facility from being a major source of HAPs.  Thus an NSR permit which restricts a Subpart T source to emissions below 10 tons per year could possibly avoid being subject to Title V even though the equation in section 63.465(e) of 40 CFR 63 Subpart T would result in the source exceeding the major source threshold. 
 
For the purpose of determining NSR permit applicability, DEEP advises that potential emissions for degreasers be based preferably on data obtained from the manufacturer or from actual emission test or mass balance data obtained from similar units.  As potential emissions are based on maximum capacity of a source to emit while operating 8760 hours per year, the data should be scaled accordingly.  You should not use AP-42 for this category of sources because the method is highly inaccurate.  Exhausting all other options, the non solvent specific equations of Subpart T may cautiously be used.
 
 

 
Do VOC-containing solvents, not directly used for surface coating, count towards the premises-wide purchase limit of 1,500 gallons of VOC containing coatings per calendar year of RCSA section 22a-174-3c(b)(10)?
 
All VOC-containing coatings, including diluents and cleanup solvents, purchased for use at the premises count towards the 1,500 gallons in any calendar year limitation.  This is the clear language of RCSA section 22a-174-3c(b)(10) and is consistent with the Department’s intentions in developing RCSA section 22a-174-3c.
 
RCSA section 22a-174-3c was designed to allow owners of certain operations or equipment with high potential emissions but very low actual emissions to limit the facility’s potential to emit via compliance with limited restrictions and simple record keeping requirements.  Because the limitations are applicable to the entire facility, RCSA section 22a-174-3c may not be appropriate for facilities with multiple VOC emitting operations, even if an individual operation or piece of equipment may operate in compliance with RCSA section 22a-174-3c. 
Example:
 
A facility operates a degreaser and a spray booth and has calendar year purchases of the following:
800 gallons of VOC containing solvent for the degreasing operation
800 gallons of VOC containing coatings for the spray booth
100 gallons of VOC containing solvent for the spray booth
This facility would not qualify for coverage under RCSA section 22a-174-3c because the total premises-wide VOC containing coating and solvent purchased during the calendar year is 1700 gallons, which exceeds the 1500 gallon limit.
As operation under RCSA section 22a-174-3c is voluntary, its requirements are not suitable for every facility.  A surface coating operation that meets the applicability criteria of RCSA section 22a-174-3a could opt to operate under the requirements of RCSA section 22a-174-3b(g) or obtain an individual new source review permit to satisfy permit applicability requirements.
 

 
What conditions are considered an emergency for an emergency engine operating under an NSR permit or RCSA sections 22a-174-3b or -3c?
 
“Emergency” is defined in RCSA section 22a-174-22(a)(4) and means an unforeseeable condition that is beyond the control of the owner or operator of an emergency engine and that:
  • Results in an interruption of electrical power from the electricity supplier to the premises; 
  • Results in a deviation of voltage from the electricity supplier to the premises of 3% above or 5% below standard voltage in accordance with subsection (a) of section 16-11-115 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies; 
  • Requires an interruption of electrical power from the electricity supplier to the premises enabling the owner or operator to perform emergency repairs; 
  • Requires operation of the emergency engine to minimize damage from fire, flood, or any other catastrophic event, natural or man-made; or 
  • Notwithstanding RCSA section 22a-174-22(a)(3), requires operation of the emergency engine under an agreement with the New England region system operator during the period of time the New England region system operator is implementing voltage reductions or involuntary load interruptions within the Connecticut load zone due to a capacity deficiency.
The definition of “emergency” may differ under various federal regulations that apply to emergency engines.  If you operate an emergency engine under an NSR permit or in accordance with the regulations under RCSA sections 22a-174-3b or -3c, the state definition of “emergency” in RCSA section 22a-174-22(a)(4) applies regardless of differing definitions of “emergency” that appear in other applicable state or federal regulations.
 
 
 

 
Can I operate an emergency engine for routine, scheduled testing or maintenance during a poor air quality day?
 
Emergency engines are not to be operated during a poor air quality day for routine, scheduled testing or maintenance pursuant to RCSA section 22a-174-22(b)(3) with the following exemptions:
  • The engine is allowed by permit or order of the Commissioner to operate during a poor air quality day for routine, scheduled testing or maintenance because the engine is unattended and the testing is automated and cannot be modified from a remote location;
  • The engine is considered a mobile source;
  • The engine is used to test and to provide emergency power or alternative power for safety-related structures, systems, and components or other Nuclear Regulatory Commission mandated systems at an electricity generating facility licensed under 10 CFR 50;
  • The engine is used to test and to provide power to meet standards for emergency electrical power systems of The Joint Commission or the National Fire Protection Association at a hospital or other health care facility;
  • The engine is used to provide power when there is an interruption of power from the electricity supplier during construction, facility maintenance, or repairs; or
  • The engine is used to test and to provide power for production operations and transmission of radio and television messages associated with an event identified by the state of Connecticut under CGS Chapter 517 or a missing person alert under CGS Chapter 528.
Note: These exemptions are not available for an engine for which the owner or operator is party to an agreement to sell electrical power from such engine to an electricity supplier or an owner or operator who otherwise receives any reduction in the cost of electrical power for agreeing to produce power during periods of reduced voltage or reduced power availability.
If an engine that is not exempt is operated for routine, scheduled testing or maintenance on a poor air quality day, the engine would be subject to RCSA sections 22a-174-22(d) through (k), which limits emissions and requires additional testing, monitoring and reporting for the emergency engine.
 
For the purposes of this FAQ, a poor air quality day is one where the Commissioner has forecast that ozone levels will be “moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy,” or “very unhealthy”.
 
 

 
Can I operate an emergency engine that is part of the ISO NE Demand Response Program when it is called to operate on a poor air quality day?
 
Yes, emergency engines that are operating under the ISO NE Demand Response Program (OP4, Action 6) as Real-Time Emergency Generation Resources can operate during a poor air quality day because they are not being used for routine, scheduled testing or maintenance pursuant to RCSA section 22a-174-22(b)(3) and such operation is expressly permitted in the definition of “Emergency” in RCSA section 22a-174-22(a)(4).
 
For the purposes of this FAQ, a poor air quality day is one where the Commissioner has forecast that ozone levels will be “moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy,” or “very unhealthy”.
 
 

 
Can I operate an engine that has an individual NSR permit for distributive generation for onsite power generation and operate on a poor air quality day?
 
Yes, the units may operate during a poor air quality day because they are not being used for routine, scheduled testing or maintenance pursuant to RCSA section 22a-174-22(b)(3).
 
For the purposes of this FAQ, a poor air quality day is one where the Commissioner has forecast that ozone levels will be “moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy,” or “very unhealthy”.
 
 
 
 
Content Last Updated November 13, 2015