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Tribal Minor New Source Review (NSR)

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Tribal Minor New Source Review (NSR)

Congress established the New Source Review (NSR) permitting program as part of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments. NSR is a preconstruction permitting program that serves two important purposes.

NSR permits are legal documents that the facility owners/operators must abide by. The permit specifies what construction is allowed, what emission limits must be met, and often how the emissions source must be operated.

For more information visit the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) NSR website.  

Additional Links:

Tribal NSR Implementation Manual (May 2012)

Tribal NSR Registration Calculators 

Tribal NSR Training/Webinars


NSR Information


General Permits/Permits by Rule Proposed

New!April 11, 2014 – This final rule will amend the New Source Review (NSR) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program to allow EPA to delegate administration of the program to interested and qualified tribal agencies. This action does not impose new requirements but will allow the EPA to treat tribes in the same manner as state and local governments for purposes of PSD permitting. 

Fact Sheet
Final Rule

December 12, 2013 - EPA is proposing options to simplify the Clean Air Act permitting process for certain smaller sources of air pollution commonly found in Indian country. This action would ensure that air quality in Indian country is protected by facilitating the implementation of the Indian Country Minor Source New Source Review (NSR) Rule issued by EPA in July 2011. This action would impact five source categories: 

Documents for proposed action:

February 18, 2014 - EPA will hold a public hearing on its proposed rule to simplify the Clean Air Act permitting process for certain smaller sources of air pollution commonly found in Indian country. The hearing will be held:

Date: March 12, 2014 
Location: Denver, CO
Time: 8:30 a.m. (Mountain Standard Time) to 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time) or after the last pre-registered speaker has spoken, whichever is earlier. A lunch break is scheduled from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Please refer to the link for more information or to reserve a time to speak: Federal Register Notice


Synthetic Minor Source Permits

Some sources have the potential to emit one or more pollutants in major source amounts, but have actual emissions that are below the major source thresholds. These sources are called ‘‘synthetic minor sources’’ and the term means a source that otherwise has the potential to emit regulated NSR pollutants in amounts that are at or above those for major sources in 40 CFR 49.167, 40 CFR 52.21 or 40 CFR 71.2, as applicable, but has taken a restriction so that its potential to emit is less than such amounts for major sources. Such restrictions must be enforceable as a practical matter (as defined in 40 CFR 49.152).

The designation of synthetic minor source is allowed for both regulated NSR pollutants and HAPs and although you may choose to obtain such emission limitations at your own discretion, once you have accepted an enforceable emission limitation, you must comply with that limitation. This is necessary to ensure that you are legally prohibited from operating as a major source. In addition, if you apply for a synthetic minor source or synthetic minor HAP source, you must comply with the same public participation requirements and the same procedures for final permit issuance and administrative and judicial review found at 40 CFR 49.157 and 40 CFR 49.159 respectively.

Any synthetic minor permit will be granted or denied no later than 1 year after the date the application is deemed complete and all additional information necessary to make an informed decision has been provided.

If you want to apply for a synthetic minor permit, fill out the forms New Source General Application and Synthetic Minor Limit Application. Both forms should be sent to your Reviewing Authority.

New_Source_General_Application.pdf (15pp, 360k)

Synthetic_Minor_Limit_Application.pdf (4pp, 360k)


Existing Source Registration

EPA is creating a registration program for minor sources in Indian country. Under the minor source registration program, if you own or operate an existing true minor source in Indian country (as defined in 40 CFR 49.152(d)) you must register your source with your reviewing authority in your area within 18 months after the effective date of this program, that is, by March 1, 2013.

If your true minor source commences construction in the time period between the effective date of this rule and September 2, 2014, you must register your source with the reviewing authority in your area within 90 days after the source begins operation. If construction or modification of your source commenced any time on or after September 2, 2014 and your source is subject to this rule, you must report your source’s actual emissions (if available) as part of your permit application and your permit application information will be used to fulfill all the other registration requirements described in 40 CFR 49.160(c)(2). This registration will be a one-time registration (not an annual registration) of your source’s estimated actual and allowable emissions as provided in 40 CFR 49.160.

For the Indian reservations subject to the registration requirements under 40 CFR 49.138 (‘‘Rule for the registration of air pollution sources and the reporting of emissions’’), the data being collected under that rule will be used to fulfill the requirements of this national registration program.

If you need to register your existing source, fill out the form Existing Source Registration and send it to your Reviewing Authority.

Existing_Source_Registration.pdf  (7pp, 48k)


Existing Source Registration.doc (7pp, 110k)


For more information on the New Source Review contact: Laura McKelvey, mckelvey.laura@epa.gov, (919) 541-5497 or Jessica Montañez, montanez.jessica@epa.gov, (919) 541-3407.

For more information on general permits and permits by rule, contact Chris Stoneman, stoneman.chris@epa.gov, (919) 541-0823.


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