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EPA to move Chicago and six other 2008 ozone nonattainment area designations from moderate to serious.

September 24, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will redesignate seven ozone nonattainment areas from moderate to serious on September 23, 2019 according to a September 20, 2019 Trinity Consultants report. Notice of EPA’s action was published in the August 23, 2019 edition of the Federal Register.Lower ozone NAAQS begins to have an air of inevitability

EPA is determining the following seven Moderate rated non attainment areas failed to attain the 2008 ozone standard of 0.075 ppm by the applicable attainment date:

  • Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Greater Connecticut, Connecticut
  • HoustonGalveston-Brazoria, Texas
  • Nevada County (Western part), California
  • New York-North New Jersey-Long Island, New York-New Jersey-Connecticut
  • San Diego County, California

EPA says the effect of failing to attain by the applicable attainment date is that these areas will be reclassified by operation of law to ‘‘Serious’’ nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS on September 23, 2019, the effective date of this final rule.

The redesignation lowers the major source threshold for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – from 100 tons per year (tpy) to 50 tpy. Newly installed emission units and modifications of existing units that emit NOx and VOCs will be subject to the new threshold.

As of September 23, 2019, new construction or modification of an emission unit at an existing major source is a major modification if the potential-to-emit (PTE) for the new unit, or net emissions increase for an existing unit, exceeds 25 tpy of NOx or VOCs.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) began mailing letters to facilities potentially impacted by the redesignation. These letters targeted facilities operating under Federally Enforceable State Operating Permits (FESOPs) and Lifetime Operating Permits (LOPs) whose PTE of NOx and/or VOCs is between 50 tpy and 100 tpy. The same letter was also provided to facilities with PTE of NOx and/or VOCs close to 50 tpy that could potentially exceed 50 tpy, if exempt emission units and fugitive emissions were included in emission calculations.

Sources operating with PTE of NOx and/or VOCs greater than 50 tpy that were previously exempt from the requirement to obtain a major source permit under the Clean Air Act Permit Program (CAAPP) are now required to submit an application for a CAAPP permit no later than September 23, 2020. Alternatively, sources may submit an application for a FESOP (or revised FESOP) that limits the PTE of NOx and VOC below 50 tpy.

Sources evaluating NOx and VOC PTE should remember to include exempt emission units and fugitive emissions in PTE calculations. Normally fugitive emissions are only included for sources on the “list of 28” industries and processes subject to the originally promulgated group of New Source Performance Standards. However, fugitive emissions are required to be included for all sources located in serious, severe, or extreme nonattainment areas.

What this means to you
EPA will redesignate seven ozone nonattainment areas from moderate to serious for the 2008 standard of 0.075 ppm. The redesignation lowers the major source threshold for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – from 100 tons per year (tpy) to 50 tpy. Newly installed emission units and modifications of existing units that emit NOx and VOCs will be subject to the new threshold.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine emission NOx, CO and VOC emissions compliance.