40 CFR 49.156 - General permits.

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§ 49.156 General permits and permits by rule.

This section applies to general permits/permits by rule for the purposes of complying with the preconstruction permitting requirements for sources of regulated NSR pollutants under this program.

(a) What is a general permit? A general permit is a preconstruction permit issued by a reviewing authority that may be applied to a number of similar emissions units or sources. The purpose of a general permit is to simplify the permit issuance process for similar facilities so that a reviewing authority's limited resources need not be expended for case-by-case permit development for such facilities. A general permit may be written to address a single emissions unit, a group of the same type of emissions units or an entire minor source.

(b) How will the reviewing authority issue general permits? The reviewing authority will issue general permits as follows:

(1) A general permit may be issued for a category of emissions units or sources that are similar in nature, have substantially similar emissions and would be subject to the same or substantially similar requirements governing operations, emissions, monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping. “Similar in nature” refers to size, processes and operating conditions.

(2) A general permit must be issued according to the applicable requirements in § 49.154(c), § 49.154(d) and § 49.155, the public participation requirements in § 49.157 and the requirements for final permit issuance and administrative and judicial review in § 49.159.

(3) Issuance of a general permit is considered final agency action with respect to all aspects of the general permit except its applicability to an individual source. The sole issue that may be appealed after an individual source is approved to construct under a general permit (see paragraph (e) of this section) is the applicability of the general permit to that particular source.

(c) For what categories will general permits be issued? (1) The reviewing authority will determine which categories of individual emissions units, groups of similar emissions units or sources are appropriate for general permits in its area.

(2) General permits will be issued at the discretion of the reviewing authority.

(d) What should the general permit contain? The general permit must contain the permit elements listed in § 49.155(a). In addition, the general permit must contain the information listed in paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section. The reviewing authority may specify additional general permit terms and conditions.

(1) Identification of the specific category of emissions units or sources to which the general permit applies, including any criteria that your emissions units or source must meet to be eligible for coverage under the general permit.

(2) Information required to request coverage under a general permit including, but not limited to, the following:

(i) The name and mailing address of the reviewing authority to whom you must submit your application.

(ii) The procedure to obtain any standard application forms that the reviewing authority may have developed.

(iii) The information that you must provide to the reviewing authority in your application to demonstrate that you are eligible for coverage under the general permit.

(iv) Other application requirements deemed necessary by the reviewing authority.

(e) What are the procedures for obtaining coverage for a source under a general permit? (1) If your source qualifies for a general permit, you may submit a Request for Coverage under that general permit to the reviewing authority upon the effective date of the general permit, generally 60 days after publication of the general permit in the Federal Register.

(2) At the time you submit your request for coverage under a general permit, you must submit a copy of such request to the Tribe in the area where the source is locating.

(3) The reviewing authority must act on your request for coverage under the general permit as expeditiously as possible, but it must notify you of the final decision within 90 days of its receipt of your coverage request.

(4) Your reviewing authority must comply with a 45-day completeness review period to determine if your request for coverage under a general permit is complete. Therefore, within 30 days after the receipt of your coverage request, your reviewing authority must make an initial request for any additional information necessary to process your coverage request and you must submit such information within 15 days. If you do not submit the requested information within 15 days from the request for additional information and this results in a delay that is beyond the 45-day completeness review period, the 90-day permit issuance period for your general permit will be extended by the additional days you take to submit the requested information beyond the 45-day period. If the reviewing authority fails to notify you within a 30-day period of any additional information necessary to process your coverage request, you will still have 15 days to submit such information and the reviewing authority must still grant or deny your request for coverage under a general permit within the 90-day general permit issuance period and without any time extension.

(5) If the reviewing authority determines that your request for coverage under a general permit has all the relevant information and is complete, it will notify you in writing as soon as that determination is made. If you do not receive from the reviewing authority a request for additional information or a notice that your request for coverage under a general permit is complete within the 45-day completeness review period described in paragraph (4) of this section, your request will be deemed complete.

(6) The reviewing authority will send you a letter notifying you of the approval or denial of your request for coverage under a general permit. This letter is a final action for purposes of judicial review (see 40 CFR 49.159) only for the issue of whether your source qualifies for coverage under the general permit. If your request for coverage under a general permit is approved, you must post, prominently, a copy of the letter granting such request at the site where your source is locating.

(7) If the reviewing authority has sent a letter to you approving your request for coverage under a general permit, you must comply with all conditions and terms of the general permit. You will be subject to enforcement action for failure to obtain a preconstruction permit if you construct the emissions unit(s) or source with general permit approval and your source is later determined not to qualify for the conditions and terms of the general permit.

(8) Your permit becomes invalid if you do not commence construction within 18 months after the effective date of your request for coverage under a general permit, if you discontinue construction for a period of 18 months or more or if you do not complete construction within a reasonable time. The reviewing authority may extend the 18-month period upon a satisfactory showing that an extension is justified. This provision does not apply to the time period between construction of the approved phases of a phased construction project; you must commence construction of each such phase within 18 months of the projected and approved commencement date.

(9) Any source eligible to request coverage under a general permit may request to be excluded from the general permit by applying for a permit under § 49.154.

(f) Permits by rule overview -

(1) What is a permit by rule? A permit by rule is a preconstruction permit issued by a reviewing authority that may be applied to a number of similar emissions units or sources within a designated category. The purpose of a permit by rule is to simplify the permit issuance process for similar facilities so that a reviewing authority's limited resources need not be expended for case-by-case permit development for such facilities. A permit by rule may be written to address a single emissions unit, a group of the same type of emissions units or an entire minor source. A source wishing to operate pursuant to a permit by rule must submit a Notification of Coverage Form to the reviewing authority prior to commencing construction or modification. Once a source submits the Notification of Coverage and the EPA posts it online, the source may commence construction or modification without further action by the reviewing authority.

(2) When and where does a permit by rule apply? The provisions of a permit by rule established under the authority of this section apply on reservations and other areas of Indian country for which a tribe, or EPA acting in a tribe's stead, has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction and where there is no EPA-approved tribal minor NSR program and according to the following implementation schedule: Sources that qualify for a permit by rule and have completed and submitted to the reviewing authority and the tribe in the affected area that is covered under the permit by rule the required Notification of Coverage may commence construction of a new source or modification of an existing source after the reviewing authority has posted the Notification of Coverage Form online. If your source qualifies for a permit by rule, you may submit a Notification of Coverage Form under that permit by rule upon the effective date of the permit by rule, generally 60 days after publication of the permit by rule in the Federal Register.

(3) How will the reviewing authority issue permits by rule? The reviewing authority will issue permits by rule as follows:

(i) A permit by rule may be issued for a category of emissions units or sources that are similar in nature, have substantially similar emissions and would be subject to the same or substantially similar requirements governing operations, emissions, monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping. “Similar in nature” refers to size, processes and operating conditions.

(ii) A permit by rule must be issued according to the applicable requirements in §§ 49.154(c) and (d) and 49.155.

(4) For what source categories will source category permits by rule be issued? (i) The reviewing authority will determine at its discretion which categories of true minor sources are appropriate for coverage under a permit by rule.

(ii) Permits by rule will be issued at the discretion of the reviewing authority. Issuance of a permit by rule is considered final agency action with respect to all aspects of the permit by rule except its applicability to an individual source. Permits by rule for additional source categories may be added in the future following the procedure set forth in paragraph (e)(3)(ii) of this section.

(iii) Permits by rule are currently available for the following source categories:

(A) Auto body repair and miscellaneous surface coating operations (§ 49.162).

(B) Petroleum dry cleaning facilities (§ 49.163).

(C) Gasoline dispensing facilities (§ 49.164).

(5) What should the permit by rule contain? A source category permit by rule must include the permit elements listed in § 49.155(a).

(6) What procedures must you follow to obtain coverage for your source under a permit by rule?

(i) You must determine whether your source is a true minor source by following the procedures outlined in § 49.153.

(ii) If you determine your source is a true minor source, then to be eligible to be covered by the permit you must be willing to accept the terms and conditions of the permit by rule, including emissions limits that are either directly expressed as limits or specified as an operational throughput limit or threshold.

(iii) Prior to submitting a completed Notification of Coverage to the reviewing authority notifying the reviewing authority that you are covered under a permit by rule, you must first submit documentation to the EPA (and to the tribe where the source is located/locating) demonstrating that you have completed the screening processes specified for consideration of threatened and endangered species and historic properties and receive a determination from the EPA stating that you have satisfactorily completed these processes. (The processes are contained in the following document: “Procedures to Address Threatened and Endangered Species and Historic Properties for New or Modified True Minor Sources in Indian Country Seeking Air Quality Permits by Rule,” http://www.epa.gov/air/tribal/tribalnsr.html.) Within 30 days of receipt of your documentation, by letter to you, the reviewing authority must provide a determination that: The documentation satisfactorily demonstrates completion of the threatened and endangered species and historic property processes; or the documentation is not adequate and additional information is needed. If the initial submittal is deficient, the reviewing authority will note any such deficiencies and may offer further direction on completing the screening process(es). Once you have addressed the noted deficiencies you must resubmit your threatened and endangered species and historic property screening procedure documentation for review. An additional 15-day review notification period will be used for the reviewing authority to determine whether the ESA/NHPA screening procedures have been satisfied. If they have, the reviewing authority will send you a letter so stating. You must obtain a letter from the reviewing authority indicating that the source has adequately completed the processes regarding threatened and endangered species and historic properties is necessary before you can qualify for coverage under the permit by rule.

(iv) If your source qualifies for a permit by rule and you choose to be covered under it, following notification from the EPA that you have satisfactorily completed the threatened and endangered species and historic property processes correctly, you may submit a Notification of Coverage to the reviewing authority beginning upon the effective date of the permit by rule, generally 60 days after publication of the permit by rule in the Federal Register. Submission of the completed Notification of Coverage to the reviewing authority satisfies the registration requirement of § 49.160(c)((1)(iii). The necessary forms for submitting a Notification of Coverage are available online at http://www.epa.gov/air/tribal/tribalnsr.html. You must also submit a copy of the Notification of Coverage to the tribe in the area where your source is locating or modifying.

(v) Upon receiving your Notification of Coverage, the notification will be posted on the reviewing authority's Web site, which is the relevant EPA Regional Office's Web site unless a tribe has been delegated authority to implement the Federal Minor NSR Program in Indian Country rule. The posting of the Notification of Coverage Form is considered final agency action with respect to the permit by rule's applicability to an individual source. Appeals can only be made regarding the applicability of the permit by rule to an individual source or modification. Appeals must be made to the relevant U.S. Court of Appeals within 60 days of the EPA's final action.

(vi) Your source must comply with all terms and conditions of the relevant permit by rule. You will be subject to enforcement action for failure to obtain a preconstruction permit if the emissions unit(s) or source are constructed under coverage of a permit by rule and your source is later determined not to qualify for that permit by rule.

(vii) Coverage under a permit by rule becomes invalid if construction is not commenced within 18 months after the date of the posting of the Notification of Coverage under a source category permit by rule, if construction is discontinued for a period of 18 months or more, or if construction is not completed within a reasonable time. The reviewing authority may extend the 18-month period upon a satisfactory showing that an extension is justified. This provision does not apply to the time period between construction of the approved phases of a phased construction project; construction of each such phase must commence within 18 months of the projected and approved commencement date.

(viii) Any source eligible to request coverage under a permit by rule may instead choose to apply for a source specific permit under § 49.154 if they prefer not to be subject to the permit by rule's terms and conditions.

[76 FR 38788, July 1, 2011, as amended at 80 FR 25090, May 1, 2015]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code

Title 40 published on 2015-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 40 CFR Part 49 after this date.

  • 2015-11-13; vol. 80 # 219 - Friday, November 13, 2015
    1. 80 FR 70179 - Source Determination for Certain Emission Units in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector; Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources; Review of New Sources and Modifications in Indian Country: Federal Implementation Plan for Managing Air Emissions From True Minor Sources Engaged in Oil and Natural Gas Production in Indian Country
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
      Proposed rule; extension of comment period.
      The public comment period for the three proposed rules published in the Federal Register on September 18, 2015 (80 FR 56579, 80 FR 56593, and 80 FR 56553), is being extended. Written comments must be received on or before December 4, 2015.
      40 CFR Part 49, 51, 52, 60, 70, and 71