Region 8

Tribal Minor New Source Review Permitting

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EPA promulgated the Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country on July 1, 2011.  The final rule is a federal implementation plan (FIP) that outlines preconstruction permitting of air pollution control requirements for industrial facilities located in Indian country. The FIP includes two New Source Review (NSR) rules for the protection of air quality in Indian country. One of those rules, known as the Tribal Minor NSR Rule, applies to new industrial facilities or modifications at existing industrial facilities with projected emissions that are more than the minor NSR thresholds but less than the major NSR thresholds, which are generally 100 to 250 tons per year (tpy). The FIP allows EPA Region 8 to review applications for and issue minor NSR permits to industrial facilities within the federally-recognized external boundaries of Reservations 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 FIP. Additionally, the FIP can be replaced by an EPA-approved tribal implementation plan (TIP).

The Tribal 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 facility that has the potential to emit pollutants in amounts that are at or above major source thresholds, but has voluntarily accepted emission limits so that its potential emissions are below those thresholds, allowing the facility to avoid more stringent major NSR 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 facilities.

The permit issuance process includes public notice and comment requirements, as well as administrative and judicial review provisions.

Am I Subject?

Your potential regulated air pollutant emissions must be greater than the thresholds in the table below and less than the major NSR thresholds.

Table 1 to 40 CFR 49.153. Minor NSR Thresholdsa
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
PM 5 10
PM10 1 5
PM2.5 0.6 3
Lead 0.1 0.1
Fluorides NA 1
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 facility or modification is determined based on the designation where the facility would be located. If the facility straddles the two areas, the more stringent thresholds apply.
b In extreme ozone nonattainment areas, section 182(e)(2) of the Act specifies that any change at a major facility that results in any increase in emissions is subject to permitting. In other words, any changes to existing major facilities in extreme ozone nonattainment areas must comply with a “0” tpy threshold, but that threshold does not apply to minor facilities.

Rule Timeline

Upon Rule Effective Date (August 30, 2011) permitting applied 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 Any General Permit Effective Date:
  • Only new true minor facilities in the source category can apply for coverage
On September 2, 2014 permitting applied to:
  • All new true minor sources, except sources in the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
March 2, 2016 permitting will apply to:

Application Forms

Existing Source Registration Form (FORM REG)

New Source General Application Form (FORM NEW)

Synthetic Minor Limit Request Form (FORM SYNMIN)

Facility Closure Form (FORM CLOSURE)

Change in Ownership Form (FORM OWN)

Permit Amendment Application Form (FORM AMEND)

Facility Location Change Form (FORM LOC)

General Instructions

Existing Facilities – Constructed Prior to August 30, 2011:
  • Submit Form REG only by March 1, 2013
  • No minor NSR permit required
New Minor Sources - Constructed Between August 30, 2011 and September 2, 2014:
  • Submit Form REG only within 90 days after you begin operating
  • No permit required unless there is a general permit for that source category.
Proposed Construction of New Minor Facilities – On or After September 2, 2014
  • Submit Form NEW only for pre-construction approval
Any Synthetic Minor Limit Request:
  • Submit Form NEW and Form SYNMIN

Implementation Tools

Implementation tools can be found on EPA's Tribal Minor NSR web page.

Public Comment Opportunities

Tribal Minor NSR Permits Issued by Region 8

Delegated Permitting Authorities

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

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