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USDA Forest Service/FLM Permitting Overview. Bruce Bayle USDA Forest Service Atlanta, GA 8 March 2005. Presentation Objectives. CAAA – Federal Land Manager (FLM) Direction. FLMs – similarities & differences. PSD process & FLMs.

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usda forest service flm permitting overview

USDA Forest Service/FLM Permitting Overview

Bruce Bayle

USDA Forest Service

Atlanta, GA

8 March 2005

presentation objectives
Presentation Objectives
  • CAAA – Federal Land Manager (FLM) Direction.
  • FLMs – similarities & differences.
  • PSD process & FLMs.
  • FLM Air Quality Related Value (AQRV) analyses of proposed new/modified air pollution sources.
flm direction
FLM Direction

“The Federal Land Manager and the Federal official charged with direct responsibility for management of such lands shall have an affirmative responsibility to protect the air quality related values (including visibility) of any such lands within a class I area and to consider, in consultation with the Administrator, whether a proposed major emitting facility will have an adverse impact on such values.” [CAA Section 165(d)(2)(B)] (underlining by author)

national visibility goal
National Visibility Goal

"Congress hereby declares as a national goal the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory class I Federal areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution.“ 42 U.S.C. section 7491A (a)(1) & CAA Section 169A (a)(1)

flms similarities differences
FLMs – Similarities & Differences
  • USDA/FS – decentralized operations; small staff with a wide array of responsibilities.
  • USDI/NPS & FWS – centralized, national operations in Lakewood, CO; staff are very specialized.
  • Note – FS, NPS, & FWS air resource policies “homogenized” via FLAG…
fs class i wildernesses w in epa r4 personnel
FS Class I Wildernesses w/in EPA/R4 + Personnel
  • Bradwell Bay, FL; Cindy Huber, Roanoke, VA;
  • Linville Gorge, Shining Rock, & Joyce Kilmer/Slickrock, NC; Bill Jackson, Asheville, NC;
  • Cohutta (GA) & Sipsey (AL); Bruce Bayle, Atlanta, GA;
usda nps class i areas within epa region 4
USDA/NPS Class I Areas Within EPA/Region 4
  • Great Smoky Mountains NP, TN & NC
  • Mammoth Cave NP, KY
  • Everglades NP, FL
usdi fws class i areas within epa region 4
USDI/FWS Class I Areas Within EPA/Region 4
  • Okefenokee NWR, GA
  • Wolf Island NWR, GA
  • St. Marks NWR, FL
  • Chasshowitzka NWR, FL
  • Cape Romain NWR, SC
  • Swanquarter NWR, NC
f ed l and mngr a ir quality related values work g roup flag
Fed. Land Mngr. Air Quality Related Values Workgroup (FLAG)
  • Visibility - most prescriptive guidance.
  • Acid deposition – soil chemistry/stream acidification  nutrient balances  vegetation impacts
  • Ozone – effects on vegetation.
flms psd review process
FLMs & PSD Review Process
  • FLMs are advisors in the PSD permit review process.
  • Permitting authority (State, EPA or Tribe) is the decision-maker that determines if a permit is
    • Issued,
    • Modified, or
    • Denied.
psd process
PSD Process
  • Notification of FLM
  • Pre-application communications
  • Completeness determination
  • Permit review & comment
  • Recommendation to permitting authority (also inform applicant & EPA)
  • Appeal process
psd review by flms
PSD Review by FLMs
  • PSD review – FLMs can achieve incremental improvements in air quality.
  • Regional Haze Regulation – potential to see big improvements in air quality region-wide.
psd timelines
PSD Timelines…
  • To expedite the PSD process, FLMs want to be involved early on in the process.
    • Review modeling protocol prior to execution of modeling.
    • Provide modeling results to FLM for preliminary review.
which psd applications do flms want to see
Which PSD Applications Do FLMs Want to See?
  • 2 key pieces of information for FLMs:
    • Criteria pollutant emissions estimates in tons/year.
    • Distance from proposed source to Class I area(s).
  • NPS/FWS uses Q/d criteria (sum of 4 key pollutants).
psd applicant considerations
PSD Applicant Considerations
  • Based on the emission rates of new source or net emissions increase of a modification
    • Also sources w/in 10 km of a Class I Area that cause a 1 ug/m3 (24-hr aver) or higher impact
  • Facility may take actions to reduce its emission rate through permit limits – ”synthetic minor”:
    • production on a daily/monthly/annual basis
    • require the installation, operation and maintenance of pollution control equipment
parts of a psd analysis
Parts of a PSD Analysis
  • Best Available Control Technology (BACT)
  • Ambient Air Quality Analysis
    • NAAQS
    • PSD Increments (Class I and II)
  • Class I Area Analysis
    • Visibility
    • N and S deposition
    • Other AQRVs
  • Additional Impacts Analysis
nsr permitting process
NSR Permitting Process
  • Pre-application meeting between applicant, the state, and possibly EPA region, and hopefully with the FLMs (if applicable). Expectations are communicated.
  • Application developed, pre-construction ambient monitoring conducted, if required
  • Application submitted to state, EPA, FLM
  • Parties determine if application is complete and work to resolve differences in analyses
nsr permitting process1
NSR Permitting Process
  • State prepares public notice package: draft permit and fact sheet
    • BACT/LAER analysis
    • ambient impacts analysis (NAAQS, Increments)
    • AQRV analysis
  • Public notice is published & distributed.
  • Maybe a public hearing (if controversial).
  • EPA may comment along with citizens and FLMs
  • State analyzes comments, issues permit.
  • Permit may be appealed.
nsr permitting process2
NSR Permitting Process
  • Process takes time, energy, & resources.
  • Lessons learned:
    • Focus on getting emission reductions
    • Focus on the impacts of source to AQRVs
    • FLMs need to stay engaged & meet response timelines whenever possible.
aqrvs at usfs class i areas
AQRVs at USFS Class I Areas
  • Visibility an AQRV at all FS Class I areas except Bradwell Bay in FL.
  • Other AQRVs:
    • Acid Deposition (S & N) in aquatic & terrestrial ecosystems
    • Vegetation – primarily through ozone impacts – difficult to assess via models (only models – regional scale)
visibility aqrv
Visibility AQRV
  • Class I visibility impairment well documented via IMPROVE network.
  • Long-term, regional visibility improvement to be improved via the Regional Haze Rule.
  • Allow John Notar of NPS to discuss specifics of visibility analysis.
effects of acid deposition
Effects of Acid Deposition
  • Acidity in rain, snow, cloud-water, & dry deposition can affect soil fertility and nutrient cycling processes, and ultimately plant growth & vitality.
  • Changes in soil chemistry also affect surface water chemistry & aquatic ecosystems.
  • Eutrophication as a result of excess nitrogen deposition.
cornerstones of aqrv impact analysis
Cornerstones of AQRV impact analysis
  • Err on the side of protecting AQRVs for future generations.
  • Consider the frequency, magnitude, duration, & geographic extent of impacts.
air quality analysis aqrv impact analysis
Air Quality Analysis & AQRV Impact Analysis
  • Air quality analysis by applicant calculates changes in pollutant concentrations, deposition rates, & changes in visibility.
  • AQRV impact analysis by FLM assesses extent to which the pollutant impacts affect sensitive visual, aquatic, or terrestrial resources.
what is an adverse impact
What is an adverse impact?
  • An unacceptable effect to AQRVs that results from deterioration of air quality in a Federal Class I area.
  • Reference FLAG, pg. 15
visibility impairment
Visibility Impairment
  • …any humanly perceptible change in visibility (visual range, contrast, coloration) from that which would have existed under natural conditions…
  • FLAG – how many days greater than 5% extinction above natural background conditions.
visibility impairment1
Visibility Impairment
  • Additional information is used as well to assist FLMs to interpret visibility results, for example:
    • Time series plots to see how often, and in what seasons, the greatest visibility impacts occur.
flag guidance for acid deposition
FLAG Guidance for AcidDeposition
  • Applicant estimates current deposition rates
    • Contributions from proposed source and sources permitted but not yet operating must be modeled in accordance with IWAQM recommendations
  • Future Deposition = Current + Proposed + Permitted (not yet operating)
  • Compare future deposition rate with recommended screening criteria, concern threshold or critical load.
critical load concern threshold
Critical Load/Concern Threshold
  • Critical Load: The amount of pollution delivered to an ecosystem that will not cause harmful changes to physical, chemical, or biological factors.
  • Concern threshold: A quantifiable resource condition or pollutant exposure of concern to the FLM.
  • FLMs agree that a critical load or concern threshold value should:
    • Protect the most sensitive AQRVs within each Class I area
    • Be based on the best science available
    • Ensure that no unacceptable change occurs to the resource
examples of concern thresholds
Examples of Concern Thresholds
  • Mt. Zirkel Wilderness (CO)
    • Lakes with low ANC:
      • ANC change of > 1ueq/l, OR
      • > 10% change in ANC over baseline
  • James River Face Wilderness (VA)
    • Streams:
      • Decrease in ANC of 0.1 ueq/liter or more
      • Decrease in stream pH of 0.01 units or more
    • Terrestrial Ecosystems:
      • Sulfur deposition increase > 0.01 kg/ha/yr
      • Nitrogen deposition increase > 0.0067 kg/ha/yr
example of critical loads dat
Example of Critical Loads/DAT
  • Mt. Rainier NP
    • Critical loads for lakes:
      • total sulfur: 3 kgS/ha/yr
      • total nitrogen: 5 kgN/ha/yr
  • NPS/FWS Deposition Analysis Thresholds
    • East: 0.01 kg/ha/yr N or S
    • West: 0.005 kg/ha/yr N
spectrum of aqrv review outcomes
Spectrum of AQRV review outcomes
  • No Class I increment violation & no adverse impacts.
  • No Class I increment violation but AQRV impacts uncertain. Permit conditions
  • Class I increment violated but no adverse AQRV impacts. Request revision of SIP
  • Adverse impact determination. Adequate mitigation by applicant would allow FLM to withdraw adverse impact determination
permit conditions may allow flm to withdraw an adverse impact determination
Permit Conditions May Allow FLM to Withdraw an Adverse Impact Determination
  • Modify application to reduce emissions
  • Application of LAER or other improved control technologies
  • Emission offsets
information resources
Information Resources
  • “Puzzlebook” - New Source Review Workshop Manual (October 1990)
  • Federal Land Managers’ Air Quality Related Values Workgroup (FLAG), Phase I Report, Dec 2000
  • EPA’s TTN Website
  • EPA’s policy memo websites –
  • Federal Register (preambles to major regulations)
  • 40 CFR Parts 51 and 52
  • Permit Application Guidance for New Air Pollution Sources, NPS/ARD, 1993, John Bunyak OR other NPS ARD material
air resource data info
Air Resource Data/Info

FS –




EPA – ;

New Source Review (EPA) –

in conclusion
In Conclusion….
  • CAAA – Federal Land Manager (FLM) Direction.
  • FLMs – similarities & differences.
  • PSD process & FLMs.
  • FLM Air Quality Related Value (AQRV) analyses of proposed new/modified air pollution sources.