October 1, 2015
North Carolina’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) officials are considering whether to loosen the state’s air pollution regulations for small emitters, according to a September 11, 2015 report from The Triad Business Journal. The proposed changes to existing air quality standards would exempt about 1,200 facilities in the state from having to comply with the air permitting process. Another 240 facilities would become eligible to register with the N.C. Division of Air Quality rather than having to obtain an official permit.
Once the DAQ presents its proposed changes to the state Environmental Management Commission, the EMC must decide whether to hold a public hearing on the new regulations. From there, they may be allowed to move toward implementation.
Under the DAQ proposal “small emission” facilities would be exempt from permitting if they have actual emissions of less than 5 tons annually of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, hazardous air pollutants and other toxic air pollutants. They could also become exempt if their combined pollutants are less than 10 tons per year.
For comparison, the U.S. Clean Air Act requires a facility to obtain a federal permit if it has the potential to emit 10 tons per year or more of any one hazardous air pollutant or 25 tons per year of any combination of HAPs. The proposed changes would not affect federal permitting requirements.
Facilities would also become eligible for registration rather than permits if they are not exempt but have total emissions less than 25 tons per year for all pollutants. Additionally, permitted facilities could make minor changes to equipment without first having to modify their air permits, and facilities would no longer need air permits for emergency generators, if they are the only source of air emissions at a facility.
DAQ says the proposed rules are designed to save businesses money while also reducing the administrative burden on the division. Small emitters account for about 63 percent of the total number of permitted facilities in the state, but hey account for just 3.4 percent of pollutant emissions.
What this means to you
North Carolina proposed changes mean facilities would be exempt from permitting if they have actual emissions of less than 5 tons annually of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, hazardous air pollutants and other toxic air pollutants.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn more about emission controls for your engines.