Important Changes to New York Air Pollution Regulations Effective June 14th, 2015

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has finalized changes to air permit regulations for process related emissions, 6 NYCRR Part 212, Process Operations. These sweeping changes become effective on June 14th, 2015, potentially impacting any regulated source that has air pollutant emissions associated with its manufacturing operations. Sources will be required to address the rule when renewing or modifying their air permit, or when applying for a new permit. This regulatory action potentially affects all air permits issued by NYSDEC (Title V permits, State Facility Permits, Minor Facility Registrations). Even sources having permits with no expiration date will have to address the rule if it has been 10 or more years since their original permit was issued. Sources are advised to carefully consider the potential impact on their operations, so those impacts can be minimized.

Roux Associates is highly qualified to assist you with interpreting these changes, and how they might affect your operations. We can review your air permit and emission sources, and help you anticipate the probable impact. We can also help you address all new requirements, including estimating emissions and determining control requirements, including how they might best be met. If you are interested in hearing more about the changes in Part 212, and/or would like information that specifically addresses your operations, please click here and we would be happy to assist you.

Changes to the 6 NYCRR Part 212, Process Operations:

  • Establishes revised air pollution control requirements for all air pollutants (criteria and non-criteria), based upon their “Environmental Rating” (A, B, C or D), and Emission Rate Potential (pounds per hour).
  • Establishes a Toxic-Best Available Control Technology (T-BACT) standard for toxic air contaminants emissions.
  • Significantly lowers the emission rate threshold for applicable control requirements (from 1 pound per hour to 0.1 pounds per hour for A-rated, non-criteria air contaminants).
  • Offers a streamlined approach for emissions of “Highly Toxic Air Contaminants.” Sources are allowed to demonstrate compliance by meeting specific mass emission rate limits (pounds per year).
  • Provides NYSDEC the discretion of revising the degree of emission control required for a source based upon the results of air dispersion modeling.
  • Allows sources regulated by U.S. EPA MACT standards to claim that their compliance with those standards is sufficient to demonstrate compliance with Part 212, except in instances with emissions of “Highly Toxic Air Contaminants.” In those cases, a source would also be required to perform a Toxic Impact Analysis.

Compliance with the revamped Part 212 will be demonstrated in a stepwise manner which, for illustrative purposes, can be summarized as follows:

  1. A facility determines whether it has any process sources that are regulated. While most process sources are regulated, there is a list of process sources (Section 212-1.4) that are specifically “excepted” from regulations.
  2. If not excepted, the facility must list all contaminants emitted, and their hourly and yearly emission rates.
  3. NYSDEC reviews the list and assigns each air contaminant an “Environmental Rating” (A, B, C, or D).
  4. Once emissions are rated, the source will need to employ the degree of air cleaning required for that rating and type of contaminant (e.g., Section 212-2.3 Table 3 or Table 4).
  5. If emissions of non-criteria pollutants cannot be controlled to the degree determined to be required, the facility would need to perform a T-BACT analysis. Under T-BACT, the source must provide NYSDEC with an analysis of whether there is an existing control technology that could limit that facility’s emissions of non-criteria contaminants and whether it is feasible to install that technology.
  6. For contaminants emitted in very small quantities (i.e., less than 0.1 pounds per hour for A-rated non-criteria pollutants), control of emissions will not be required if a source demonstrates (by modeling) that off-site concentrations do not exceed NYSDEC Guideline Concentrations.

 The changes to 6 NYCRR Part 212 are not expected to be welcomed by the regulated community due to the increase in regulatory burden that is created.  However, the silver lining is that the new rules provide a mechanism for sources to justify that their air pollutant emissions do not have the potential to harm public health, utilizing the latest procedures that are considered appropriate for such assessments.