Plan Approval and Operating Permit Exemptions
[26 Pa.B. 4559]
The Department of Environmental Protection published draft revisions to a listing of sources and facilities exempted from plan approval and operating permit requirements at 27 Pa.B. 3160 (July 6, 1996). Comments were received during a 30-day public comment period and revisions have been made in consideration of the comments received. A comment and response document has been prepared which describes the changes made to the listings. Copies of this document can be obtained by contacting Kimberly Maneval, Division of Permits, Bureau of Air Quality, 12th Floor Rachel Carson State Office Building, P. O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8468, telephone (717) 787-4325. TDD users may telephone the Department through the AT&T Relay Service, 1 (800) 654-5984. Internet users can access a copy of the document and exemption listings at http://www.dep.state.pa.us. The revised final listings follow.
Listing of Plan Approval Exemptions
Section 127.14(a) of Chapter 127 of the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection (25 Pa. Code § 127.14(a)) provides that approval is not required for the construction, modification, reactivation or installation of the following:
1. Air conditioning or ventilation systems not designed to remove pollutants generated by or released from other sources.
2. Combustion units rated at 2.5 million or less Btus per hour of heat input.
3. Combustion units with a rated capacity of less than 10 million Btus per hour of heat input fueled by natural gas supplied by a public utility or by commercial fuel oils which are No. 2 or lighter-viscosity less than or equal to 5.82 C St--and which meet the sulfur content requirements of § 123.22 (relating to combustion units). Combustion units converting to fuel oils which are No. 3 or heavier-viscosity greater than 5.82 C St or contain sulfur in excess of the requirements of § 123.22 require approval. For the purpose of this section, commercial fuel oil shall be virgin oil which contains no reprocessed, recycled or waste material added.
4. Sources used in residential premises designed to house four or less families.
5. Space heaters which heat by direct heat transfer.
6. Mobile sources.
7. Laboratory equipment used exclusively for chemical or physical analyses.
8. Other sources and classes of sources determined to be of minor significance by the Department.
The following is a list of those sources and classes of sources determined in accordance with section 127.14(a)(8) to be exempt from the Plan Approval requirements of 25 Pa. Code §§ 127.11 and 127.12. Unless labeled otherwise, emission rates are to be considered actual ton per year. Note that certain exceptions and qualifications regarding this list are contained in the discussion that follows the list.
1. Incinerators with rated capacities less than 75 lb. per hour burning a municipal or residual waste as defined by the Bureau of Land Recycling and Waste Management.
2. Shot blast and sand blasting units with appropriately designed fabric collectors, cartridge collectors or scrubbers manufactured as an integral part of the design and which have exhaust volumes equal to or smaller than 5,000 scfm.
3. Coal handling facilities processing less than 200 tons per day. (Thermal coal dryers and pneumatic coal cleaners remain subject to the requirements of section 127.11).
4. Combustion turbines rated at less than 1,000 horsepower or 10.7 gigajoules per hour.
5. Natural gas-fired heat treating furnaces with less than 10x106 Btus per hour heat input (fuel burning emissions only).
6. Steam aspirated vacuum degassing of molten steel.
7. Wet sand and gravel operations (screening only) and dry sand and gravel operations with a capacity of less than 150 tons per hour of unconsolidated materials.
8. Concrete batch plants and associated storage vessels which are equipped with appropriately designed fabric collectors.
9. Bulk material storage bins, except those associated with a production facility with total actual facility particulate emissions greater than 10 tons per year.
10. Storage vessels for volatile organic compounds [which do not contain hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)] which have capacities less than 40 m3 (10,000 gallons) based on vessel dimensions, unless subject to § 129.59 (bulk gasoline terminals) or § 129.60(b) and (c) (bulk gasoline plants).
11. Storage vessels containing non-VOC or non-hazardous air pollutant materials and compounds.
12. Diesel fuel, Nos. 2, 4 and 6 fuel oils, or kerosene and jet fuel storage and dispensing facilities.
13. Covered wastewater transfer systems such as covered junction boxes, sumps, tanks at industrial sites.
14. Plastic bead or pellet milling, screening and storage operations (does not include handling and storage of resin powders).
15. Plastic parts casting ovens and injection molding processes.
16. Tire buffing.
17. Paper trimmers/binders.
18. Vocational education shops. Chemistry laboratories at schools and colleges.
19. Bench-scale laboratory equipment used for kinetic studies, mass/energy transport studies, chemical synthesis and physical or chemical analysis.
20. Research and development activities with annual emission rates:
i. less than 20 tons per year of CO;
ii. less than 0.12 ton per year of lead;
iii. less than 3 tons per year of PM10;
iv. less than 8 tons per year of SO2 or VOC;
v. less than 10 tons per year of NOx;
vi. less than 1 ton/year of a single HAP or 2.5 ton/year of a combination of HAPs.
21. Woodworking facilities such as sawmills and pallet mills which process green wood; or, small woodworking facilities processing kiln-dried wood or wood products (flakeboard, particleboard and the like) associated with pattern shops, retail lumber yards, shipping and packing departments and the like; or, woodworking facilities of any size processing kiln-dried wood or wood products which are equipped with appropriately designed fabric collectors.
This exemption does not apply to woodworking facilities processing wood which has been treated with a wood preservative of any kind. The term ''woodworking facilities'' refers only to operations in which wood or a wood product is sawed, sanded, planed or similarly shaped or reshaped. The term does not include such activities as painting, finishing, hardboard manufacturing, plywood manufacturing and the like.
23. Slaughterhouses (rendering cookers remain subject to the requirements of Chapter 127.11).
24. Restaurant operations.
25. Cold degreasers, except those emitting more than 1 ton per year of a HAP or 2.5 tons per year of a combination of HAPs. These units are still subject to section 129.63(a).
26. Vapor degreasers with cross sectional areas at the liquid-vapor interface, equal to or less than 10 square feet, except those emitting more than 1 ton per year of a HAP or 2.5 tons per year of a combination of HAPs.
27. Detergent washing of metal parts, except those using VOCs or HAPs.
28. Uncontrolled surface coating sources of the type addressed in Table I of § 129.52 which have not had actual emissions of VOCs (except those emitting more than 1 ton per year of a HAP or 2.5 tons per year of a combination of HAPs) in excess of 3 pounds per hour, 15 pounds per day, or 2.7 tons per year during any calendar year since January 1, 1987, provided total plant emissions are less than 25 tons per year. For plants emitting equal to or greater than 25 tons per year of VOCs, sources emitting equal to or less than 1 ton per year of VOC are exempt.
29. Sources of uncontrolled VOC emissions (except those emitting more than 1 ton per year of a HAP or 2.5 tons per year of a combination of HAPs, or those of the type subject to § 129.52, or addressed elsewhere in this listing), and:
i. are located in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia Counties and have actual emissions less than 3 lb. per hour, 15 lb. per day, and 2.7 tons per year; or,
ii. are located in counties other than those listed in (i) above and emit at the levels in the following table:
Facility (Plant) Size New Source Exemption <=25 TPY <=8 TPY >25 TPY >1 TPY
30. Dry-cleaning facilities which are not subject to § 129.70, NSPS, MACT (area MACT sources are currently deferred from plan approval and operating permit requirements), PSD or NSR requirements.
31. Retail gasoline stations and vehicle fueling operations at industrial plant sites.
32. Sources of particulate matter (not subject to NESHAPs, NSPS, PSD, or emission offset requirements, nor which emit lead or HAPs) which are controlled by a baghouse, have an emission rate which meets the limits of Chapter 123, and are exhausted indoors and cannot be bypassed to exhaust to the outdoor atmosphere.
33. Sources emitting inert gases only, such as argon, helium, krypton, neon and xenon; pure constituents of air such as nitrogen, oxygen or carbon dioxide; or, methane or ethane.
34. Any source qualifying under section 127.449 as a de minimis emission increase.
35. Sources that exhaust to a filter/baghouse and have particulate loading (before control) under limits specified in Chapter 123.
36. Petroleum liquid storage which are used to store produced crude oil and condensate prior to lease custody transfer.
37. Oil and gas exploration and production facilities and operations which include wells and associated equipment and processes used either to drill or alter oil and gas wells, to extract, process and deliver crude oil and natural gas to the point of lease custody transfer, to plug abandoned wells and restore well sites, or treat and dispose of associated wastes. This does not include gas compressor stations with a total capacity equal to or exceeding 500 HP or with individual engines equal to or smaller than 100 HP. Also this does not include gas extraction wells at landfills.
38. Combustion units with a rated capacity of less than 10 million Btus per hour of heat input fueled by natural gas supplied by an independent gas producer. (Sources firing natural gas supplied by an independent producer shall be given the same consideration given sources which fire natural gas provided by a public utility.)
39. Any source granted an exemption by the Department through the execution of a Request for Determination of Requirement for Plan Approval Application form.
Sources not Exempted:
A. This notice shall not be construed to exempt facilities which include multiple sources of air contaminants, even if each source is within a class in the above list.
B. The addition of sources that would subject the facility to major source New Source Review or Prevention of Significant Deterioration requirements, Title V or Reasonably Available Control Technology are not to be exempted from plan approval requirements, even if such sources are within a class in the above list.
C. Sources exempt from plan approval may be required to be included in the operating permit if the source is not considered an insignificant activity as listed below.
These determinations do not exempt the above-listed sources from compliance with the emission limitations, work practice, and other applicable requirements contained in 25 Pa. Code Chapters 121--124, 127, 129 and 135. Although a source may be exempt from the plan approval and operating permit requirements of Chapter 127, the source is subject to all other applicable air quality regulations. For example, combustion units exempt from the requirements of Chapter 127 are not exempt from the opacity limitations of § 123.41 or the emission limitations of § 123.22. Storage vessels for organic compounds with capacities between 2,000 gallons to 40,000 gallons, not subject to the requirements of Chapter 127, must install pressure relief valves in accordance with the requirements of § 129.57. (Note: Storage vessels in this size range would also not be subject to the requirements of §§ 129.59 and 129.60.)
If the Department determines that any source within the above list is causing air pollution in violation of § 8 of the Air Pollution Control Act (35 P. S. § 4008) or 25 Pa. Code § 121.7, the Department may order the installation of additional air cleaning devices. In such cases, plan approvals and operating permits may be required.
Requests for exemptions from the plan approval requirements of Chapter 127 for multiple source facilities must be considered on a case-by-case basis.
As noted in Number (39) of the list, additional exemptions, when appropriate, may be obtained through the submission of a completed Request for Determination of Requirement for Plan Approval Application form. These forms are available from any Air Quality office.
Physical Changes Qualifying for Exemption Under Section 127.14(a)(9)
In accordance with section 127.14(a)(9), the Department has determined that the following physical changes qualify for plan approval exemption if the change: a) would not violate the terms of an operating permit, the Air Pollution Control Act, the Clean Air Act or the regulations adopted under them; b) would not result in emission increases above the allowable in the operating permit; and, c) would not result in an increased ambient air quality impact for an air contaminant. These changes may be made without notification to the Department. Caution: Do not read the following list without consideration of the preceding qualifiers.
1. Changes in the supplier or formulation of similar raw materials, fuels, paints and other coatings which do not effect emissions or which meet all applicable standards and limitations.
2. Changes in product formulations that do not affect air emissions.
3. Changes that result in different speciation of pollutants but fall within permit limitations.
4. Changes in the method of raw material addition.
5. Changes in the method of product packaging.
6. Changes in temperature, pressure or other operating parameters which do not adversely affect air cleaning devices performance or air emissions.
7. Additions of or changes to sampling connections used exclusively to withdraw materials for testing and analysis including air contaminant detection and vent lines.
8. Changes to paint drying oven length designed to alter curing time, so long as capture efficiencies of control equipment are not altered.
9. Routine maintenance, inspection and cleaning of storage tanks and process vessels or the closure or dismantling of a storage tank or process.
10. Changing water sources to air cleaning devices when there is no affect on performance or air emissions.
11. Moving a source from one location to another at the same facility with no change in operation or controls.
12. Installation of an air cleaning device that is not installed to comply with regulatory requirements and will not be used to generate emission reduction credits.
13. Repairing, replacing, upgrading, maintaining or installing pollution control device instrumentation or component equipment including pumps, blowers, burners, filters, filter bags, devices for measuring pressure drop across an air cleaning device or a filter breakage detector for a baghouse, provided such changes would not violate an operating permit term or condition.
14. Installing a fume hood or vent system for industrial hygiene purposes or in a laboratory.
15. The temporary (no longer than 6 months) replacement in kind of a source that has experienced an emergency breakdown.
16. Repairing, replacing, upgrading, maintaining or installing equipment and processes at oil and gas extraction and production facilities and operations, including equipment or processes which are used either to drill or alter oil and natural gas to the point of lease custody transfer, to plug abandoned wells and restore well sites, or treat and dispose of associated wastes.
In accordance with section 127.14(c) additional physical changes may be determined to be of minor significance and not subject to plan approval requirements through the following procedure.
A. If the changes do not involve the installation of equipment, the changes may be made within 7 calendar days of the Department's receipt of a written request provided the Department does not request additional information or objects to the change within the 7-day period.
B. If the changes involve the installation of equipment, the changes may be made within 15 calendar days of the Department's receipt of a written request provided the Department does not request additional information or objects to the change within the 15-day period.
C. If the change would violate the terms of an operating permit, the plan approval exemption may be processed contemporaneously with the minor operating permit modification under the procedures described in section 127.462.
Exemption Criteria for Operating Permits
A Title V operating permit is needed by all facilities which have the potential to emit (PTE) exceeding the levels described in the definition of ''Title V facility.'' A State-only operating permit is needed by any facility containing sources currently covered by a plan approval or operating permit. A State-only operating permit is also needed for existing non-permitted facilities (for example, grandfathered facilities) which do not have a potential to emit (PTE) which exceeds the Title V facility thresholds, but which has actual emissions equal to or exceeding the facility levels summarized below. An existing non-permitted facility which does not have a PTE exceeding the Title V facility thresholds and which does not have actual emissions exceeding the levels shown below, is exempt from the requirement to obtain an operating permit.
State-Only Operating Permit Facility Exemptions for Grandfathered Facilities
Actual Pollutant PTE< Emission Rate < CO 100 TPY 20 TPY NOx 100 TPY* 10 TPY SOx 100 TPY 8 TPY PM10 100 TPY 3 TPY VOCs 50 TPY* 8 TPY Single HAP 10 TPY 1 TPY Multiple HAPs 25 TPY 2.5 TPY
*25 TPY for Severe NA area including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Exceptions: Sources subject to MACT requirements are not exempted from operating permit requirements. However, the permitting of MACT area sources will be deferred at this time. MACT area sources include non- major facilities containing: perchloroethylene dry cleaning, halogenated solvent cleaning, ethylene oxide commercial sterilization and fumigation operations, hard and decorative chromium electroplating, lead smelters and chromium anodizing tanks.
Sources listed in the plan approval exemptions list should be included in an operating permit application unless it is also listed in the insignificant activities list.
Source Category and Insignificant Activities Exemptions
At present there are only two permanently exempted source categories. These categories include residential wood stoves and asbestos demolition/renovation sites. (Ref. Section 127.504(d))
Insignificant activities are those located within a facility which do not create air pollution in significant amounts. These insignificant activities need not be described in a Title V or State-only operating permit application. Also, these activities do not require a plan approval. Sources listed in the plan approval exemptions list should be included in an operating permit application unless it is also listed in the following list. Certain of these listed activities include qualifying statements intended to exclude many similar activities.
1. Combustion emissions from propulsion of mobile sources. The term ''mobile'' means it is capable of moving by its own power. The term does not include a source mounted on a vehicle, whether the mounting is permanent or temporary, which source is not used to supply power to the vehicle. Examples might include lawn mowers, tow and lift vehicles and the like.
2. Air-conditioning units used for human comfort that do not have applicable requirements under Title VI of the act.
3. Ventilating units used for human comfort that do not exhaust air pollutants into the ambient air from any manufacturing, industrial or commercial process.
4. Portable space heaters.
5. Electrically heated furnaces, ovens and heaters, and other electrically operated equipment from which no emissions of air contaminants occur.
6. Noncommercial food preparation.
7. Use of office equipment and products, not including printers or businesses primarily involved in photographic reproduction.
8. Any equipment, machine or device from which emission of air contaminant does not occur.
9. Janitorial services and consumer use of janitorial products.
10. Internal combustion engines used for landscaping purposes.
11. Garbage compactors and waste barrels.
12. Laundry activities, except for dry-cleaning and steam boilers.
13. Bathroom/toilet vent emissions.
14. Emergency (backup) electrical generators at residential locations.
15. Tobacco smoking rooms and areas.
16. Blacksmith forges.
17. Plant maintenance and upkeep activities (for example, grounds-keeping, general repairs, cleaning, painting, welding, plumbing, re-tarring roofs, installing insulation and paving parking lots) provided these activities are not conducted as part of a manufacturing process, are not related to the source's primary business activity, and not otherwise triggering a permit modification.1
18. Repair or maintenance shop activities not related to the source's primary business activity, not including emissions from surface coating or de-greasing (solvent metal cleaning) activities, and not otherwise triggering a permit modification.
19. Portable electrical generators that can be moved by hand from one location to another.2
20. Hand-held equipment for buffing, polishing, cutting, drilling, sawing, grinding, turning or machining wood, metal or plastic.
21. Brazing, soldering and welding equipment, and cutting torches related to maintenance and construction activities that do not result in emission of HAP metals.3
22. Air compressors and pneumatically operated equipment, including hand tools.
23. Batteries and battery charging stations, except at battery manufacturing plants.
24. Storage tanks, vessels and containers holding or storing liquid substances that will not emit any VOC or HAP.
25. Propane or natural gas tanks and containers.
26. Storage tanks, reservoirs, and pumping and handling equipment of any size containing soaps, vegetable oil, grease, animal fat and nonvolatile aqueous salt solutions, provided appropriate lids and covers are utilized.
27. Equipment used to mix and package, soaps, vegetable oil, grease, animal fat and nonvolatile aqueous salt solutions, provided appropriate lids and covers are utilized.
28. Drop hammers or hydraulic presses for forging or metalworking.
29. Equipment used exclusively to slaughter animals, but not including other equipment at slaughterhouses, such as rendering cookers, boilers, heating plants, incinerators and electrical power generating equipment.
30. Vents from continuous emissions monitors and other analyzers.
31. Natural gas pressure regulator vents.
32. Hand-held applicator equipment for hot melt adhesives with no VOC in the adhesive formulation.
33. Equipment used for surface coating, painting, dipping or spraying operations, except those that will emit VOC or HAP.
34. CO2 lasers, used only on metals and other materials which do not emit HAP in the process.
35. Consumer use of paper trimmers/binders.
36. Electric or steam-heated drying ovens and autoclaves, but not the emissions from the articles or substances being processed in the ovens or autoclaves or the boilers delivering the steam.
37. Salt baths using nonvolatile salts that do not result in emissions of any regulated air pollutants.
38. Laser trimmers using dust collection to prevent fugitive emissions.
39. Bench-scale laboratory equipment used for kinetic studies, mass/energy transport studies, chemical synthesis and physical or chemical analysis.
40. Sources emitting inert gases only, such as argon, helium, krypton, neon and xenon; pure constituents of air such as nitrogen, oxygen or carbon dioxide; or the organic aliphatic hydrocarbon gases methane and ethane.
41. Routine calibration and maintenance of laboratory equipment or other analytical instruments.
42. Equipment used for quality control/assurance or inspection purposes, including sampling equipment used to withdraw materials for analysis.
43. Hydraulic and hydrostatic testing equipment.
44. Environmental chambers not using hazardous air pollutant (HAP) gases.
45. Shock chambers.
46. Humidity chambers.
47. Solar simulators.
48. Fugitive emissions related to movement of passenger vehicles, provided the emissions are not counted for applicability purposes and any required fugitive dust control plan or its equivalent is submitted.
49. Process water filtration systems and demineralizers, but not including air stripper.
50. Demineralized water tanks and demineralizer vents.
51. Boiler water treatment operations, not including cooling towers.
52. Oxygen scavenging (de-aeration) of water.
53. Potable water treatment systems.
54. Ozone generators.
55. Fire suppression systems and activities involved in fire protection training, first aid or emergency medical training.
56. Emergency road flares.
57. Steam vents and safety relief valves.
58. Steam leaks.
59. Steam cleaning operations.
60. Steam sterilizers.
61. Retail gasoline stations and vehicle fueling operations at industrial plant sites.
62. Petroleum liquid storage which are used to store produced crude oil and condensate prior to lease custody transfer.
63. Oil and gas exploration and production facilities and operations which include wells and associated equipment and processes used either to drill or alter oil and gas wells, to extract, process and deliver crude oil and natural gas to the point of lease custody transfer, to plug abandoned wells and restore well sites, or treat and dispose of associated wastes. This does not include gas compressor stations with individual engines equal to or greater than 100 HP. Also this does not include gas extraction wells at landfills.
64. Typesetting, image setting and plate making equipment used in the preparatory phase of printing.
If an applicant conducts an activity that is believed insignificant but not covered by this listing, the applicant may list the activity in an operating permit application and provide a justification for listing the activity as insignificant. If the Department accepts the applicant's justification then no further information will be required on the activity. If the Department rejects the justification then operating permit information will have to be supplied for the activity.
JAMES M. SEIF,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-1581. Filed for public inspection September 20, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]
1 Cleaning and painting activities qualify if they are not subject to VOC or HAP control requirements. Asphalt batch plant owners/operators must still get a permit.
2 ''Moved by hand'' means that it can be moved without the assistance of any motorized or non-motorized vehicle, conveyance, or device.
3 Brazing, soldering and welding equipment, and cutting torches related to manufacturing and construction activities that emit HAP metals are more appropriate for treatment as insignificant activities based on size or production level thresholds. Brazing, soldering, welding and cutting torches directly related to plant maintenance and upkeep and repair of maintenance shop activities that emit HAP metals are treated as trivial and listed separately in this appendix.
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