Plan Approval and Operating Permit Exemptions
[30 Pa.B. 2165]
Under 25 Pa. Code § 127.14, the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) may determine sources or classes of sources to be exempt from the plan approval and permitting requirements of 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127. A listing of these exemptions was last published at 29 Pa.B. 2078 (April 17, 1999). Subsequently, the Department published notice of proposed revisions to the listing and provided a 30-day public comment period at 30 Pa.B. 583 (January 29, 2000). During the 30-day comment period, three comments were received on the proposed revisions and a Comment and Response Document was prepared.
The revised Plan Approval and Operating Permit Exemptions List is set forth as follows:
Listing of Plan Approval Exemptions
Section 127.14(a) Exemptions
In accordance with § 127.14(a), 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.
Section 127.14(a)(8) Exemptions
The following is a list of those sources and classes of sources determined, in accordance with § 127.14(a)(8), to be exempt from the Plan Approval requirements of §§ 127.11 and 127.12. Unless labeled otherwise, emission rates are to be considered actual ton per year (tpy). 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 sandblasting 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 § 127.11).
4. Combustion turbines rated at less than 1,000 horsepower or 10.7 gigajoules per hour.
5. Internal combustion engines rated at less than 100 brake horsepower. Note Category 36 addresses oil and gas facilities.
6. Natural gas-fired heat treating furnaces with less than 10 million BTUs per hour heat input (fuel burning emissions only).
7. Steam aspirated vacuum degassing of molten steel.
8. 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.
9. Concrete batch plants and associated storage vessels which are equipped with appropriately designed fabric collectors.
10. Bulk material storage bins, except those associated with a production facility with total actual facility particulate emissions greater than 10 tpy.
11. 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).
12. Storage vessels containing non-VOC or non-hazardous air pollutant materials and compounds.
13. Diesel fuel, Nos. 2, 4 and 6 fuel oils, or kerosene and jet fuel storage and dispensing facilities as long as the stored or dispensed product has a vapor pressure less than 1.5 psia.
14. Covered wastewater transfer systems such as covered junction boxes, sumps and tanks at industrial sites.
15. Plastic bead or pellet milling, screening and storage operations (does not include handling and storage of resin powders).
16. Plastic parts casting ovens and injection molding processes.
17. Tire buffing.
18. Paper trimmers/binders.
19. Vocational education shops. Chemistry laboratories at schools and colleges.
20. Bench-scale laboratory equipment used for kinetic studies, mass/energy transport studies, chemical synthesis and physical or chemical analysis.
21. Research and development activities with annual emission rates:
i. less than or equal to 20 tpy of CO;
ii. less than or equal to 0.12 tpy of lead;
iii. less than or equal to 3 tpy of PM10;
iv. less than or equal to 8 tpy of SO2 or VOC;
v. less than or equal to 10 tpy of NOx;
vi. less than or equal to one tpy of a single HAP or 2.5 tpy of a combination of HAPs.
22. Woodworking facilities including 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. This category also includes woodworking facilities of any size processing kiln-dried wood or wood products equipped with appropriately designed fabric collectors.
This exemption does not apply to woodworking facilities processing wood that 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 activities such as painting, finishing, hardboard manufacturing, plywood manufacturing, and the like.
24. Slaughterhouses (rendering cookers remain subject to the requirements of § 127.11).
25. Restaurant operations.
26. Cold degreasers, except those emitting more than one tpy of a HAP or 2.5 tpy of a combination of HAPs. These units are still subject to § 129.63(a).
27. Vapor degreasers with cross sectional areas at the liquid-vapor interface, equal to or less than 10 square feet, except those emitting more than one tpy of a HAP or 2.5 tpy of a combination of HAPs.
28. Detergent washing of metal parts, except those using VOCs or HAPs.
29. Sources of uncontrolled VOC emissions not addressed elsewhere in this exemption listing modified or newly added, such that emission increases are less than 2.7 tpy. Facilities claiming this exemption must provide a 15-day prior written notification to the Department and limit VOC emission increases to less that 2.7 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 major source requirements) 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. These sources should not emit more than 0.12 tpy of lead, one tpy of a single HAP or 2.5 tpy of a combination of HAPs. Multiple sources within this category may be exempt from plan approval requirements.
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. Sources qualifying under § 127.449 as de minimis emission increases.
35. Sources that exhaust to a filter/baghouse and have particulate loading (before control) below limits specified in Chapter 123.
36. Oil and gas exploration and production facilities and operations that include wells and associated equipment and processes used either to: a) drill or alter oil and gas wells; b) extract, process and deliver crude oil and natural gas to the point of lease custody transfer; c) plug abandoned wells and restore well sites, or d) treat and dispose of associated wastes. This includes petroleum liquid storage tanks which are used to store produced crude oil and condensate prior to lease custody transfer. (Multiple sources within this subcategory may be exempt from plan approval requirements.) This category does not include gas compressor station engines equal to or greater than 100 HP or gas extraction wells at landfills.
37. 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 that fire natural gas provided by a public utility.)
38. Any source qualifying for exemption based on criteria contained in a general permit developed in accordance with the procedures described in §§ 127.601--127.642.
39. Powdered metal sintering furnaces using only organic lubricants equal to or less than 0.75% organic lubricant by weight. The furnace atmosphere must contain hydrogen (H2) at 3% or greater. The furnace must also maintain an operating flame curtain between the part entry and pre-heat zone. In the absence of an operating flame curtain, the furnace must operate an afterburner. A furnace sintering metal lubricated parts may be exempted if the furnace emits particulate matter not exceeding 0.15 lb/hr (determined by mass balance or stack tests). Note, for mass balance purposes, the following conversion factors are to be used:Zinc Stearate to Zinc Oxide particulate matter = 0.129, Lithium Stearate to Lithium Carbonate particulate matter = 0.15.
The Department may approve alternate conversion factors provided a satisfactory written justification is submitted to the Department.
A sintering furnace using organic lubricants and operating outside the limitations specified, may be exempted under a case-by-case determination through the execution of a Request for Determination of Requirement for Plan Approval Application form. The owner/operator of a sintering furnace exempt from permitting requirements must notify the Department within 30 days of the furnace installation. For sintering furnaces using metal containing lubricants, records must be maintained to demonstrate compliance with the particulate matter emission limit of 0.15 lb/hr for each product.
The exemption does not apply to sintering furnaces used to sinter parts that are treated with oil.
40. Facilities engaged primarily in collision repair and refinishing of automobiles and light duty trucks.
41. Any source granted an exemption by the Department through the execution of a Request for Determination of Requirement for Plan Approval form.
Further Qualifications Regarding Plan Approval Exempted Sources:
1. This notice shall not be construed to exempt facilities that include multiple sources of air contaminants, unless specifically stated in the source category.
2. The addition of any source that would subject the facility to major source New Source Review or Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Title V or Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements shall comply with plan approval requirements, even if such sources are within a category in the previous list.
3. Sources exempt from plan approval may be required to be included in the operating permit if the source is not included in the trivial activity listing.
4. Sources located in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties may be subject to different permitting requirements. Please contact the Allegheny County Air Quality Program, (412) 567-8115 or the Philadelphia Air Management Services, (215) 823-7580 for information applicable to sources located in those counties.
These determinations do not exempt the previously listed sources from compliance with the emission limitations, work practice, and other applicable requirements contained in 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 exempted source is causing air pollution in violation of section 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 Category 41 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 of the Department's Air Quality office.
Physical Changes Qualifying for Exemption Under § 127.14(a)(9)
In accordance with § 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 Federal Clean Air Act or the regulations adopted under the acts; 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 make determinations regarding the following list without consideration of the preceding criteria.
1. Changes in the supplier or formulation of similar raw materials, fuels, paints and other coatings which do not affect emissions and 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 device 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 effect on air cleaning device 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 the 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 of a source with a source of equal or less emission potential.
16. Repairing, replacing, upgrading, maintaining or installing equipment and processes at oil and gas extraction and production facilities and operations. The category includes equipment or processes 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 § 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 § 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 for facilities which do not have a PTE which exceeds the Title V facility thresholds, but which has actual emissions equal to or exceeding the facility levels summarized in the following table. An existing facility which does not have a PTE exceeding the Title V facility thresholds and which does not have actual emissions exceeding the levels shown, is exempt from the requirement to obtain an operating permit.
State-Only Operating Permit Facility Exemptions*
Pollutant PTE< Actual 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
*Sources located in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties may be subject to different permitting requirements. Please contact the Allegheny County Air Quality Program (412) 567-8115 or the Philadelphia Air Management Services (215) 823-7580 for information applicable to sources located in those counties.
**25 TPY for Severe Ozone NA areas including Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.
Sources listed in the plan approval exemption list should be included in an operating permit application unless it is also included in the listing of trivial activities.
Exempted Facility and Source Categories for Operating Permits
Unless preclude by the Federal Clean Air Act, or the regulations thereunder, the following facilities and source categories are exempted from the operating permit requirements of § 127.402.
1. Residential wood stoves.
2. Asbestos demolition/renovation sites.
3. Facilities engaged primarily in collision repair and refinishing of automobiles and light duty trucks.
4. Retail gasoline stations.
Deferral of Operating Permit Requirements for Area Sources
Sources subject to MACT standards are not exempted from operating permit requirements. However, the permitting of MACT area sources will be deferred at this time. Area MACT sources emit or have the PTE less than 10 tpy of any hazardous air pollutant or 25 tpy of any combination of hazardous air pollutants. These nonmajor sources include: perchloroethylene dry cleaning, halogenated solvent cleaning, ethylene oxide commercial sterilization and fumigation operations, hard and decorative chromium electroplating, chromium anodizing tanks and secondary lead smelters. These MACT area sources are still required to meet all applicable emission control requirements established by the respective MACT requirement. The owner or operator of a MACT area source need not submit an operating permit application until December 9, 2004.
Trivial 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 exemption 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. Electric space heaters. Propane and gas fired space heaters with a plant-wide capacity less than 2.5 million BTUs per hour heat input and which have not been subject to RACT requirements.
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, retarring 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 degreasing (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 another2 .
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) gasses.
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 strippers.
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. Oil and gas exploration and production facilities and operations that include wells and associated equipment and processes used either to: a) drill or alter oil and gas wells; b) extract, process and deliver crude oil and natural gas to the point of lease custody transfer; c) plug abandoned wells and restore well sites, or d) treat and dispose of associated wastes. This category does not include gas compressor station engines or gas extraction wells at landfills.
62. Typesetting, image setting and plate making equipment used in the preparatory phase of printing.
If an applicant conducts an activity that is believed trivial but not covered by this listing, the applicant may list the activity in an operating permit application and provide a written justification for listing the activity as trivial. If the Department accepts the applicant's justification, no further information will be required on the activity. If the Department rejects the justification, additional information must be included in an operating permit application submitted to the Department.
JAMES M. SEIF,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-703. Filed for public inspection April 28, 2000, 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 nonmotorized 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 or maintenance shop activities that emit HAP metals are treated as trivial and listed separately in this appendix.
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