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Reviewing NSR and Title V Permits. Public Review vs “affected state” Review: advantages of TAS for section 505. Natalene Cummings Forest County Potawatomi Tribe. Getting started with permit review. Get some training Can gain authorities to strengthen your air program Jump in!!.

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Reviewing nsr and title v permits

Reviewing NSR and Title V Permits

Public Review vs “affected state” Review: advantages of TAS for section 505

Natalene Cummings

Forest County Potawatomi Tribe

Getting started with permit review
Getting started with permit review

Get some training

Can gain authorities to strengthen your air program

Jump in!!

Tribes and affected state status
Tribes and “Affected State” Status

Under Tribal Authority Rules, 40 CFR part 49

Authorizes EPA to treat tribe in same manner as a state for implementing and managing air quality programs

Applies to grants, Title V review, Interstate pollution abatement, designation authority, and TIP’s

Under TAS, tribe can develop or implement its own air quality program

Tribes and affected state status cont
Tribes and “Affected State” Status (cont.)

Tribe’s comments on permit must be incorporated


Must be explained IN WRITING, copy of rationale sent to EPA

Oklahoma court just vacated application of TAS to non-Reservation lands

(Bob Gruenig – [email protected])

Tas in permitting
TAS in Permitting

  • TAS is a delegation of authority from EPA to tribe

  • This means tribe can choose elements of CAA to implement on reservation

  • Can also lend extra authority to tribe’s comments on permits issued by other authorities

  • Most common types of TAS

    • Title 5 review

    • 5% match

    • 126 pollution transport

Advantages of tas
Advantages of TAS

  • Having TAS for 105 funding means you are a “program” rather than a “project”

  • Asserts tribal authority

  • Helps demonstrate your credibility through the application process

    • Must demonstrate tribe is federally recognized

    • Must demonstrate technical and governmental capability

  • Once your initial TAS authority has been granted, subsequent ones are easier

  • Possible disadvantage: Tribe needs to specify reservation boundaries

Advantages of tas cont
Advantages of TAS (cont.)

Under TAS, tribe can pursue EPA enforcement against upwind polluters

Having TAS is first step toward writing Tribal Implementation Plan

If TAS in place before problems arise, easier to address problems

Creates “mandated” government-to-governmental relations/communication

Practical aspects of permit review
Practical Aspects of Permit Review

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Decision, decisions

Understand the numbers

Look at Modeling Results

Look at “permit variables”

“Good enough” is good enough

Decisions decisions how do you choose which permits to review
Decisions, Decisions: How do you choose which permits to review?

Concerns will be different for each Reservation

Type of facility

Pollutants of concern?

Magnitude of pollutant emissions

Reputation of facility

Distance from Reservation

How close to NAAQS are the emissions?

How complicated is permit?

Understand the numbers every number in a permit has a story
Understand the Numbers—Every Number in a Permit Has a Story

  • Permit limits/requirement come from

    • Federal programs (i.e., NSPS, BART, MACT)

    • NSR permits

    • State-only requirements

    • IP requirements

    • Enforcement actions

  • If reason not clear, check with permit engineer

  • Facility must demonstrate how they’re meeting limits

Modeling results
Modeling Results

Is the source expected to meet Ambient Air Quality Standards? Do Class I standards apply?

Modeling is very complicated, models can be “gamed”—be aware whether a variance from protocol was granted

Can ask to see modeling protocol agreed upon between state agency and facility

See for info

Ask questions!!

Permit variables
Permit variables

Many items require judgment calls by permit engineer

  • Frequency of testing

  • Stack testing vs. CEMs

  • Permit engineer considers: how close to the NAAQS emissions it will be; how reliable emissions data is; health effects of pollutant

  • Permit should retain ability to change testing frequency, etc., depending on results obtained

Practical advice work smarter not harder
Practical Advice: Work Smarter, Not Harder

The more permits you review, the better you will get at it!

Read the TSD first for explanation of processes and limits

Be sure every requirement has: monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping associated with it

Make sure permit has “outs” or ways to change the permit if results are unacceptable

EPA doesn’t review all permits, but sometimes “takes requests” from tribes

Practical advice continued
Practical Advice (Continued)

  • Call permit engineer, Class I FLM, EPA to ask questions

    • Ask “What should I have asked?”

  • Ask colleagues (tag team)

  • Word search terms of interest

  • Attend public hearing or request one

Your new best friend the federal land manager
Your New Best Friend: the Federal Land Manager

USFS, USFWS, NPS have lots of expertise in air quality due to Class I areas

Have affirmative duty to protect air quality

Federal agencies have trust responsibility toward tribes

Class I standards are stricter than most state standards

Things to look at if you have time
Things to Look at if You have Time

Check calculations and emission factors

Look up regulations referenced in the permit for understanding and applicability (modeling, monitoring methods, etc)

Can look at permit application

Read any studies referenced

Read appendices


TAS is a versatile tool

Get TAS before you “need” it

Permit reviewing is a long-term, on-going skill

You will learn much faster if you ask questions