Suspension of Implementation and Enforcement of Compliance Requirement for Greenhouse Gases for General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit No. 5 (BAQ-GPA/GP-5)
[44 Pa.B. 7244]
[Saturday, November 15, 2014]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the suspension of the implementation and enforcement of Section A, General Condition 9, Compliance Requirement (c)(ix) under General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit BAQ-GPA/GP-5 (GP-5) (Natural Gas Compression and/or Processing Facilities), effective November 15, 2014. The compliance requirement for greenhouse gases provides that the emissions from all sources and associated air pollution control equipment located at a natural gas compression or processing facility, or both, shall not equal or exceed 100,000 tons, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), on a 12-month rolling sum basis. Under the current GP-5, an air contamination source that exceeds the CO2e emissions threshold is considered a major source subject to the Title V permitting requirements under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127, Subchapters F and G (relating to operating permit requirements; and Title V operating permits), as well as the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review requirements under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127, Subchapter D or E (relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality; and new source review), and therefore ineligible to seek authorization to use GP-5.
The Department is suspending implementation and enforcement of Section A, General Condition 9 (c)(ix) of GP-5 because of the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), No. 12-1146 (June 23, 2014), which invalidated certain regulatory provisions of the ''Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule'' promulgated by the EPA at 75 FR 31514 (June 3, 2010). Among other things, the Supreme Court's decision invalidated the requirement that new sources as well as existing sources that emit, or have the potential to emit, at least 100,000 tons per year of CO2e are subject to the PSD and Title V requirements. On July 24, 2014, the EPA issued a memorandum entitled ''Next Steps and Preliminary Views on the Application of Clean Air Act Permitting Programs to Greenhouse Gases Following the Supreme Court's Decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency,'' which provides preliminary guidance to the EPA Regional Administrators in Regions 1—10.
In response to the UARG v. EPA decision and the EPA's preliminary guidance, the implementation and enforcement of greenhouse gases requirement in GP-5, Section A, General Condition 9, Compliance Requirement (c)(ix) are no longer necessary. The owners and operators of natural gas compression or processing facilities, or both, in this Commonwealth that meet or exceed the 100,000-ton CO2e threshold are eligible to seek authorization to use GP-5 because they are not major sources for PSD or Title V purposes, based solely on greenhouse gases. GP-5 will be revised and reissued following the completion of the public participation process.
The Department's exercise of enforcement discretion pending the reissuance of GP-5 will not protect any owner or operator issued an authorization to use GP-5 from legal challenges pursued by third parties.
For more information or questions concerning GP-5, contact Krishnan Ramamurthy, Chief, Division of Permits, (717) 783-9476, firstname.lastname@example.org.
DANA K. AUNKST,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-2373. Filed for public inspection November 14, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]
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