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Tribal Minor New Source Review Permitting
On July 1, 2011, the EPA promulgated a final Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) that implements New Source Review (NSR) preconstruction air pollution control requirements in areas in Indian country. The FIP, which is titled "Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country" includes two NSR rules for the protection of air quality in Indian country. One of those rules, known as the Minor NSR Rule, applies to new industrial facilities or modifications at existing industrial facilities with the potential to emit equal to or more than the minor NSR thresholds but less than the major NSR thresholds, generally 100 to 250 tons per year (tpy). The FIP gives EPA Region 8 the authority to review applications for and issue minor NSR permits to stationary sources on Indian country in the Region (Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota). The FIP also allows EPA to delegate that authority to tribes in the Region that request it and are able to demonstrate appropriate capability to implement the plan. Additionally, the FIP can be replaced by an EPA-approved tribal implementation plan (TIP).
The Minor NSR program provides three options for obtaining permits:
- Site-Specific Permits - includes case-by-case determinations of the source emission limits as well as any control technology requirements;
- General Permits - permits that have been developed for a number of similar equipment types or facilities to simplify the permit issuance process for facilities; or
- Synthetic Minor Permits - applies to a source that has the potential to emit pollutants in amounts that are at or above major source thresholds, but has voluntarily accepted emission limitations so that its potential to emit is less than those thresholds, thereby allowing the source to avoid more stringent major source requirements of the Clean Air Act, such as Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), and Title V Operating Permit requirements. This option is available to different types of facilities, including those that emit hazardous air pollutants so that they will not be subject to Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT) standards for major sources.
The permit issuance process includes public notice and comment requirements, as well as administrative and judicial review provisions.
Am I Subject to This Rule?
Pollutant Potential to Emit Thresholds for Minor Industrial Sources
|Regulated NSR pollutant||Minor NSR thresholds for nonattainment areas (tpy)||Minor NSR thresholds for attainment areas (tpy)|
|Carbon monoxide (CO)||5||10|
|Nitrogen oxides (NOx)||5b||10|
|Sulfur dioxide (SO2)||5||10|
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)||2b||5|
|Sulfuric acid mist||NA||2|
|Hydrogen sulfide (H2S)||NA||2|
|Total reduced sulfur (including H2S)||NA||2|
|Reduced sulfur compounds (including H2S)||NA||2|
|Municipal waste combustor emissions||NA||2|
|Municipal solid waste landfill emissions (measured as nonmethane organic compounds)||NA||10|
a If part of a tribe's area of Indian country is designated as attainment and another part as nonattainment, the applicable threshold for a proposed source or modification is determined based on the designation where the source would be located. If the source straddles the two areas, the more stringent thresholds apply.
b In extreme ozone nonattainment areas, section 182(e)(2) of the Act requires any change at a major source that results in any increase in emissions to be subject to permitting. In other words, any changes to existing major sources in extreme ozone nonattainment areas have to comply with a “0” tpy threshold, but that threshold does not apply to minor sources.
Rule Applicability Timeline
Upon Rule Effective Date - August 30, 2011
Permitting will apply to:
- Minor modifications at existing major NSR sources
- New synthetic minor requests
- Part 71 synthetic minor source transfers
- 50% PTE Transition Policy source transfers
- Consent decree source transfers
Upon General Permit Effective Date
- New true minor sources in the source category only will be able to apply for coverage
3 Years After Rule Effective Date - September 2, 2014
Permitting will apply to:
- All new true minor sources
Tribal Minor NSR Permit Application Forms
Implementation tools can be found on EPA's Tribal Minor NSR web page.
Tribes Delegated Minor NSR Permitting Authority
If your source is located within the exterior boundaries of any of the following Reservations authority for Minor NSR permitting has been delegated to the associated governing Tribes and you should work with that Tribe in order to comply with applicable permitting requirements. Each listed Reservation/Tribe contains a link to contact information for the delegated Tribe's permitting program.
None at this time.
EPA-Approved Tribal Implementation Plans
If your source is located within the exterior boundaries of any of the following Reservations full authority for Minor NSR permitting has been approved by EPA for the associated governing Tribes and you should work with that Tribe in order to comply with applicable permitting requirements. Each listed Reservation/Tribe contains a link to contact information for the approved Tribe's permitting program.
None at this time