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Tribal Minor New Source Review (NSR)

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Tribal Minor New Source Review (NSR)

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Adobe PDF files on this page. See EPA's PDF page for more information about getting and using the free Acrobat Reader.

Quick links to headings below:

Background

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.

  • First, it ensures that air quality is not significantly degraded from the addition of new and modified sources such as factories, industrial boilers and power plants. In areas with unhealthy air, NSR assures that new emissions do not slow progress toward cleaner air. In areas with clean air, especially pristine areas like national parks, NSR assures that new emissions do not significantly worsen air quality.

  • Second, the NSR program assures people that any large new or modified industrial source in their neighborhoods will be as clean as possible, and that advances in pollution control occur concurrently with industrial expansion.

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.

NSR Information

For more information visit:

General Permits and Permits by Rule Implementation

EPA has developed options to simplify the Clean Air Act New Source Review permitting process for certain minor sources of air pollution commonly found in Indian country.  General permits or permits by rule (and supporting documents) that apply to minor sources in Indian country nationwide have been finalized for the source categories listed below. Links are provided to each general permit or permit by rule and the supporting documents. You can also find the procedures for addressing effects on threatened and endangered species and historic properties for sources seeking coverage under a permit by rule. These procedures must be completed and approved by the EPA Regional office prior to submitting the Permit by Rule Notification of Coverage Form. Finally, links are also provided to EPA regional websites indicating the sources that are covered under each general permit or permit by rule are also included below (updated each time a regional office grants a source coverage under a general permit and when a source notifies EPA of coverage under a permit by rule).

Hot Mix Asphalt Plants

Stone Quarrying, Crushing, and Screening Facilities

Gasoline Dispensing Facilities

Petroleum Dry Cleaning Facilities

Auto Body Repair and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations

Procedures for Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for Permits by Rule (PDF) (13pp, 835k)

Links to EPA Regional Websites Indicating the Sources that are Covered Under Each General Permit or Permit by Rule

  • Region 1
  • Region 2
  • Region 4
  • Region 5
  • Region 6
  • Region 7
  • Region 8
  • Region 9
  • Region 10

True Minor Source and Synthetic Minor Source Permits

"True minor source"; means a source that emits, or has the potential to emit, regulated NSR pollutants in amounts that are less than the major source thresholds under either the PSD program at 40 CFR 52.21, or the Major NSR program for Nonattainment Areas in Indian Country at 40 CFR 49.166 through 49.173, but equal to or greater than the minor NSR thresholds in § 49.153, without the need to take an enforceable restriction to reduce its PTE to such levels. The PTE includes fugitive emissions, to the extent that they are quantifiable, only if the source belongs to one of the 28 source categories listed in part 51, Appendix S, paragraph II.A.4(iii) or § 52.21(b)(1)(iii) of 40 CFR, as applicable.

"Synthetic minor sources" 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).

“Synthetic minor HAP source” means a source that otherwise has the potential to emit HAPs in amounts that are at or above those for major source s of HAP in 40 CFR 63.2, but that have 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.

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, 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 form 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)

Regulatory Information

Bundle 1: General Permits/Permits by Rule Final Rule April 20, 2015 - EPA is finalizing 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 impacts five source categories: 

  • Hot mix asphalt plants;
  • Stone quarrying, crushing, and screening facilities;
  • Gasoline dispensing facilities;
  • Petroleum dry cleaners; and
  • Auto body repair and miscellaneous surface coating operations.

Documents for final action:

Bundle 2: General Permits/Permits by Rule Proposed

July 11, 2014 - 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 six source categories: 

  • Concrete batch plants;
  • Boilers;
  • Stationary spark ignition engines;
  • Stationary compression ignition engines;
  • Graphic arts and printing operations; and
  • Sawmill facilities.

Documents for proposed action:

EPA will hold a public hearing on this action on August 7, 2014. The hearing will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views or arguments concerning the proposed action.

  • Date: August 7, 2014
  • Location: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC.
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) or after the last registered speaker has spoken, whichever is earlier.
    A lunch break is scheduled from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Minor Source Permitting in Indian Country

May 22, 2014 – EPA is seeking broad public feedback on options for implementing EPA’s Indian Country Minor New Source Review (NSR) program for oil and gas production sources in Indian country. The agency is requesting comments on options for streamlining permitting to minimize delays, while ensuring that air quality in Indian country is protected.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) (107pp, 743k)
Fact Sheet (PDF) (4pp, 330k)

Extension to Minor NSR Permitting Deadline for Oil and Gas Sources

May 22, 2014 – EPA finalized revisions to its 2011 Indian Country Minor New Source Review (NSR) Rule to extend Clean Air Act permitting and registration deadlines for new and modified minor sources in the oil and natural gas sector industry.

Deadline extension (PDF) (10pp, 240k)
Fact Sheet (PDF) (2pp, 312k)

Final Amendments to the Indian Country New Source Review Rule

May 9, 2014 – These amendments add six categories to the existing list of activities exempt from Clean Air Act minor source permitting. This rule also defines "begin construction" and "commence construction" and will clarify construction-related regulatory text. 

Fact Sheet
Final Rule

Final Amendments to Delegation of Authority Provisions in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting Programs

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

Bundle 1: General Permits/Permits by Rule Proposed

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: 

  • Hot mix asphalt plants;
  • Stone quarrying, crushing, and screening facilities;
  • Gasoline dispensing facilities;
  • Petroleum dry cleaners; and
  • Auto body repair and miscellaneous surface coating operations.

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.

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 non-oil and natural gas true minor source commences construction in the time period between the effective date of of the Federal Indian Country Minor New Source Review 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 non-oil and natural gas 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 of 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.

If your true minor source is in the oil and natural gas sector, the above registration requirement applies, except that March 2, 2016 should be substituted for September 2, 2014.

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)

or

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

Program Contacts

For more information on the New Source Review Program, contact: Laura McKelvey, mckelvey.laura@epa.gov, (919) 541-5497 or Greg Nizich, nizich.greg@epa.gov, (919) 541-3078.

For more information on General Permits and Permits by Rule, contact: Chris Stoneman, stoneman.chris@epa.gov, (919) 541-0823.

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