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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Region 6 PSD Permitting Process

The EPA strongly advises a pre-application meeting prior to submission of an application for a PSD permit. All permit applications received by EPA Region 6 will be posted on this site in the near future. PSD Greenhouse gas permitting process records for facilities in Texas can be viewed at yosemite.epa.gov/r6/Apermit.nsf/AirP

There are several phases to the PSD Permitting Process for GHGs. These phases include (1) pre-application, (2) application, (3) draft permit preparation, (4) public participation, and (5) final decision to issue or deny a PSD permit. These phases are described below.

1. Pre-application

The GHG PSD Permitting Authority for the States of Texas is:

Wren Stenger, Director
Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division
EPA, Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

The EPA Region 6 GHG Contact Person is:

Ms. Melanie Magee,
Greenhouse Gas Permit Contact
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (6PD-R)
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202-2733

The Non-GHG PSD Permitting Authority for the State of Texas is:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087

During this phase, the applicant reviews air polluting activities being considered at a new or modified facility that would require a PSD permit for GHGs. EPA strongly recommends that potential applicants contact or meet with EPA to determine the GHG PSD process and the interaction, if any, with a potential NSR/PSD permit process with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide information and applications for permits for all major and minor permits associated with the project for our review in determining the terms and conditions of specific GHG emission units to be addressed in the GHG PSD Permit.

During this phase, the EPA will also discuss with the applicant EPA’s responsibilities under other existing laws. For example, prior to issuing the federal PSD permit, EPA must comply with all applicable federal laws including, but not limited to, the Endangered Species Act (Section 7(a)(2) pursuant to 50 CFR Part 402) and the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106 pursuant to 36 CFR Part 300). In addition, EPA must comply with applicable Executive Orders and policies, such as those related to Environmental Justice (EO 12898). Compliance with these federal laws is a separate but concurrent process.

Again, the PSD applicant is strongly encouraged by EPA to request a pre-application meeting with EPA permitting staff to review its permit needs and discuss any pre-application requirements and to discuss the contents and the format of a complete PSD permit application and the process that EPA will undergo for compliance with other applicable federal law. Because these processes can be intensive and may be the source of unexpected delays, EPA encourages the applicant to meet early with EPA.

2. Application

After determining its pre-application needs, the applicant submits a PSD permit application to EPA to the attention of Jeffrey Robinson, Permit Section Chief, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (6PD-R), 1445 Ross Ave, Dallas TX  75202-2733.   EPA will accept any permitting forms/format as long as they meet the requirements of the tailoring rule and also the GHG permitting guidance at: http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgdocs/ghgpermittingguidance.pdf. Applicants that wish to assert claims to confidential business information (CBI) in submitting their applications must follow relevant EPA requirements at 40 CFR 2.201-2.301. Pursuant to CAA Section 114(c), emission data is not entitled to confidential treatment and therefore should not be claimed as CBI.

To assist the permit applicant, the EPA is also copying links to examples of state PSD permit applications that may be submitted.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/permitting/air/Forms/NewSourceReview/10252.pdf

The following letters describe permitting authorities in Texas: TCEQ Letter,   EPA Response Letter

As the Federal permitting authority, EPA follows the permitting process provided in 40 CFR Part 124. Under this permitting process, a completeness determination should be completed within 30 days after receiving the permit application. If the application is incomplete, EPA will request the necessary information in order to draft a proposed permit. One important element for a complete permit application is the inclusion of a detailed 5-step top down BACT analysis. The 5-step top down BACT analysis should clearly outline the reason(s) for the selected BACT for the emission unit(s).

We strongly recommend that, along with the signed hard copy of the application, an electronic version be submitted as well. 

3. Draft permit preparation

The EPA will review the application for administrative completeness.  During this stage, the EPA reviews the details in the technical section of the application and may require additional supporting and technical information for preparation of the draft permit and the statement of basis.  The draft permit contains the terms and conditions for controlling air pollution and the required monitoring and recordkeeping requirements for demonstrating compliance.  The statement of basis describes the derivation of the conditions of the draft permit and the reasons for supporting EPA’s tentative decision. An analysis for installation of the best available control technology and the derivation of the conditions in the draft permit will be included in the statement of basis.  The process of preparing the draft permit may take from six months to a year from the time the application is deemed complete.

4. Public participation

Once EPA makes a preliminary determination, EPA makes available to the public its proposed decision. If EPA proposes to issue a permit, then EPA will propose the permit and prepare the public notice per 40 CFR 124.  The public comment period is usually 30 days, and may be longer if EPA finds that there is significant public interest. The public is usually notified of the draft permit through a printed legal notice in the local newspaper of general circulation in the area where the source is, or will be, located. The public will also be notified of the draft permit through EPA’s website.

Anyone may submit comments on the proposed permit to EPA during the public comment period and may also request a public hearing. If EPA holds a public hearing, the public hearing may be held during the public comment period.

All permit documents and comments received from the public during the public comment period become part of the administrative record for the permit. The administrative record is available to the public.

5. Permit issuance

After the public comment period has ended, EPA carefully considers all comments and prepares its response to these comments. EPA then issues a decision on the final PSD permit and its response to comments. The final PSD permit usually becomes effective 30 days after EPA issues its decision, unless a different effective date is given or the final PSD permit is appealed to the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB).

Any person who filed comments on that draft permit or participated in the public hearing may petition the EAB to review the final permit decision. The regulations governing the appeal process are at 40 CFR 124.19.

Guidance Documents

EPA Greenhouse Gas Permitting Website:  http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgpermitting.html
GHG Air Permitting Tools Website: http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgpermitting.html
1990 Draft NSR Workshop Manual: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/nsr/gen/wkshpman.pdf
NSR Policy & Guidance Database: http://www.epa.gov/region7/air/nsr/nsrpg.htm

GHG References

Clean Air Act Sections:  Title I – Part C (PSD Statute): http://www.epa.gov/oar/caa/title1.html#ic
EPA Regulations (40 CFR 52.21): http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2002/julqtr/40cfr52.21.htm

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