Air Permitting and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

On November 15, 1990, President George Bush signed into law the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) for which almost all air pollution sources require an operating permit – running the gamut of industry – from screening any and all minor and/or area source emissions for the so-called "Applicability Determination," all the way to major sources in which the Title V Operating Permit is required.  The central mechanism for achieving the goals of the CAAA, as expressed by the U.S. EPA, is two-fold: 1. Meet federally enforceable standards; 2. Adhere to state-specific standards for the state in which the facility of record is located.  A "federally enforceable state operating permit" (FESOP) is a permit to operate a facility that emits specific air pollutants "regulated under the Act."

  • The list of pollutants regulated under the four primary Title Programs of the Act has been expanded air legislation in 1970 and 1977 to include Title I – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs, i.e. paints, solvents, degreasers); Title III – 187 Air Toxics, also referred to as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs); Title IV – Six "Criteria Pollutants relative to Acid Rain issues;" and Title VI – 22 “Class I” and 34 “Class II” Ozone Depleting Chemicals (ODCs).  This is a marriage of EPA’s four title programs and any given facility’s various point sources that come together to make the pursuit of a company’s air operating permit one of the most sophisticated and difficult forms of compliance to satisfy among all other compliance mandates.
  • State Programs will ultimately reflect federal requirements: 1. New Source Performance Standards (NSPS); 2. National Emission Standards of Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs); 3. Acid Rain; 4. New Source Review (a. Prevention of Significant Deterioration [PSD]; b. Non-Attainment Areas); 5. Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), which requires annual certification and semiannual reporting for sector-driven compliance policies and procedures through the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs); and more.
  • Refrigerant Emissions Tracking Rule.  Section 608 of Title VI (Ozone Depleting Chemicals (ODCs)) under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 regulates refrigerant emissions to protect the ozone from chemicals known to damage it.

Emissions Inventory Reporting (EIR) (State-Regulated)

Throughout the 1990’s, far reaching air-emissions reporting legislation was enacted or amended by various states which required industry to execute annual compliance activities in the form of emissions tracking, reporting, etc., by deadlines specific to each state. The annual emissions inventory report (sometimes called Emissions Inventory Questionnaire (EIQ)) is required of stationary sources to which federal and/or air quality permits are also applicable.

Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP)

On October 30, 2009, the U.S. EPA published its rule for mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases (GHG) from sources that meet or exceed emissions thresholds, measured in terms of a “carbon dioxide equivalent per year.”  Virtually every company or organization in America incurs or leaves a carbon footprint via its standard activities, processes and use of power supplies, thus must compute the applicability of EPA’s GHG Reporting Program in order to determine if it (1) meets or exceeds the emissions thresholds that would trigger a reporting requirement; and if so, (2) report its emissions accordingly; and/or, at least (3) maintain records of its due diligence efforts in the form of defensible documentation to prove GHG Reporting was not applicable in the event of an inspection.  Even if a given organization is not required to comply, it must be prudent in executing an applicability determination to provide evidence-based data to demonstrate that GHG reporting is not required in any given reporting year.  Reports are due annually on March 31 for the previous calendar year.  Reports are submitted electronically on an exclusive basis (no hard-copy reporting).

Clean Air Testimonial

Vanguard's EHS compliance programs were complete and current. The audit score for this facility was among the best for [our] business units audited over the last three years.- Tool Mfr./Chicago, IL