40 CFR § 70.7 - Permit issuance, renewal, reopenings, and revisions.
(a) Action on application.
(i) The permitting authority has received a complete application for a permit, permit modification, or permit renewal, except that a complete application need not be received before issuance of a general permit under § 70.6(d) of this part;
(ii) Except for modifications qualifying for minor permit modification procedures under paragraphs (e) (2) and (3) of this section, the permitting authority has complied with the requirements for public participation under paragraph (h) of this section;
(iv) The conditions of the permit provide for compliance with all applicable requirements and the requirements of this part; and
(v) The Administrator has received a copy of the proposed permit and any notices required under §§ 70.8(a) and 70.8(b) of this part, and has not objected to issuance of the permit under § 70.8(c) of this part within the time period specified therein.
(2) Except as provided under the initial transition plan provided for under § 70.4(b)(11) of this part or under regulations promulgated under title IV of title V of the Act for the permitting of affected sources under the acid rain program, the program shall provide that the permitting authority take final action on each permit application (including a request for permit modification or renewal) within 18 months, or such lesser time approved by the Administrator, after receiving a complete application.
(3) The program shall also contain reasonable procedures to ensure priority is given to taking action on applications for construction or modification under title I, parts C and D of the Act.
(4) The permitting authority shall promptly provide notice to the applicant of whether the application is complete. Unless the permitting authority requests additional information or otherwise notifies the applicant of incompleteness within 60 days of receipt of an application, the application shall be deemed complete. For modifications processed through minor permit modification procedures, such as those in paragraphs (e) (2) and (3) of this section, the State program need not require a completeness determination.
(5) The permitting authority shall provide a statement that sets forth the legal and factual basis for the draft permit conditions (including references to the applicable statutory or regulatory provisions). The permitting authority shall send this statement to EPA and to any other person who requests it.
(6) The submittal of a complete application shall not affect the requirement that any source have a preconstruction permit under title I of the Act.
(b) Requirement for a permit. Except as provided in the following sentence, § 70.4(b)(12)(i), and paragraphs (e) (2)(v) and (3)(v) of this section, no part 70 source may operate after the time that it is required to submit a timely and complete application under an approved permit program, except in compliance with a permit issued under a part 70 program. The program shall provide that, if a part 70 source submits a timely and complete application for permit issuance (including for renewal), the source's failure to have a part 70 permit is not a violation of this part until the permitting authority takes final action on the permit application, except as noted in this section. This protection shall cease to apply if, subsequent to the completeness determination made pursuant to paragraph (a)(4) of this section, and as required by § 70.5(a)(2) of this part, the applicant fails to submit by the deadline specified in writing by the permitting authority any additional information identified as being needed to process the application.
(c) Permit renewal and expiration.
(1) The program shall provide that:
(i) Permits being renewed are subject to the same procedural requirements, including those for public participation, affected State and EPA review, that apply to initial permit issuance; and
(ii) Permit expiration terminates the source's right to operate unless a timely and complete renewal application has been submitted consistent with paragraph (b) of this section and § 70.5(a)(1)(iii) of this part.
(d) Administrative permit amendments.
(1) An “administrative permit amendment” is a permit revision that:
(i) Corrects typographical errors;
(ii) Identifies a change in the name, address, or phone number of any person identified in the permit, or provides a similar minor administrative change at the source;
(iii) Requires more frequent monitoring or reporting by the permittee;
(iv) Allows for a change in ownership or operational control of a source where the permitting authority determines that no other change in the permit is necessary, provided that a written agreement containing a specific date for transfer of permit responsibility, coverage, and liability between the current and new permittee has been submitted to the permitting authority;
(v) Incorporates into the part 70 permit the requirements from preconstruction review permits authorized under an EPA-approved program, provided that such a program meets procedural requirements substantially equivalent to the requirements of §§ 70.7 and 70.8 of this part that would be applicable to the change if it were subject to review as a permit modification, and compliance requirements substantially equivalent to those contained in § 70.6 of this part; or
(vi) Incorporates any other type of change which the Administrator has determined as part of the approved part 70 program to be similar to those in paragraphs (d)(1) (i) through (iv) of this section.
(2) Administrative permit amendments for purposes of the acid rain portion of the permit shall be governed by regulations promulgated under title IV of the Act.
(3) Administrative permit amendment procedures. An administrative permit amendment may be made by the permitting authority consistent with the following:
(i) The permitting authority shall take no more than 60 days from receipt of a request for an administrative permit amendment to take final action on such request, and may incorporate such changes without providing notice to the public or affected States provided that it designates any such permit revisions as having been made pursuant to this paragraph.
(iii) The source may implement the changes addressed in the request for an administrative amendment immediately upon submittal of the request.
(4) The permitting authority may, upon taking final action granting a request for an administrative permit amendment, allow coverage by the permit shield in § 70.6(f) for administrative permit amendments made pursuant to paragraph (d)(1)(v) of this section which meet the relevant requirements of §§ 70.6, 70.7, and 70.8 for significant permit modifications.
(e) Permit modification. A permit modification is any revision to a part 70 permit that cannot be accomplished under the program's provisions for administrative permit amendments under paragraph (d) of this section. A permit modification for purposes of the acid rain portion of the permit shall be governed by regulations promulgated under title IV of the Act.
(1) Program description. The State shall provide adequate, streamlined, and reasonable procedures for expeditiously processing permit modifications. The State may meet this obligation by adopting the procedures set forth below or ones substantially equivalent. The State may also develop different procedures for different types of modifications depending on the significance and complexity of the requested modification, but EPA will not approve a part 70 program that has modification procedures that provide for less permitting authority, EPA, or affected State review or public participation than is provided for in this part.
(2) Minor permit modification procedures -
(1) Do not violate any applicable requirement;
(2) Do not involve significant changes to existing monitoring, reporting, or recordkeeping requirements in the permit;
(3) Do not require or change a case-by-case determination of an emission limitation or other standard, or a source-specific determination for temporary sources of ambient impacts, or a visibility or increment analysis;
(4) Do not seek to establish or change a permit term or condition for which there is no corresponding underlying applicable requirement and that the source has assumed to avoid an applicable requirement to which the source would otherwise be subject. Such terms and conditions include:
(A) A federally enforceable emissions cap assumed to avoid classification as a modification under any provision of title I; and
(B) An alternative emissions limit approved pursuant to regulations promulgated under section 112(i)(5) of the Act;
(5) Are not modifications under any provision of title I of the Act; and
(6) Are not required by the State program to be processed as a significant modification.
(B) Notwithstanding paragraphs (e)(2)(i)(A) and (e)(3)(i) of this section, minor permit modification procedures may be used for permit modifications involving the use of economic incentives, marketable permits, emissions trading, and other similar approaches, to the extent that such minor permit modification procedures are explicitly provided for in an applicable implementation plan or in applicable requirements promulgated by EPA.
(A) A description of the change, the emissions resulting from the change, and any new applicable requirements that will apply if the change occurs;
(B) The source's suggested draft permit;
(C) Certification by a responsible official, consistent with § 70.5(d), that the proposed modification meets the criteria for use of minor permit modification procedures and a request that such procedures be used; and
(iii) EPA and affected State notification. Within 5 working days of receipt of a complete permit modification application, the permitting authority shall meet its obligation under § 70.8 (a)(1) and (b)(1) to notify the Administrator and affected States of the requested permit modification. The permitting authority promptly shall send any notice required under § 70.8(b)(2) to the Administrator.
(iv) Timetable for issuance. The permitting authority may not issue a final permit modification until after EPA's 45-day review period or until EPA has notified the permitting authority that EPA will not object to issuance of the permit modification, whichever is first, although the permitting authority can approve the permit modification prior to that time. Within 90 days of the permitting authority's receipt of an application under minor permit modification procedures or 15 days after the end of the Administrator's 45-day review period under § 70.8(c), whichever is later, the permitting authority shall:
(A) Issue the permit modification as proposed;
(B) Deny the permit modification application;
(C) Determine that the requested modification does not meet the minor permit modification criteria and should be reviewed under the significant modification procedures; or
(v) Source's ability to make change. The State program may allow the source to make the change proposed in its minor permit modification application immediately after it files such application. After the source makes the change allowed by the preceding sentence, and until the permitting authority takes any of the actions specified in paragraphs (e)(2)(v) (A) through (C) of this section, the source must comply with both the applicable requirements governing the change and the proposed permit terms and conditions. During this time period, the source need not comply with the existing permit terms and conditions it seeks to modify. However, if the source fails to comply with its proposed permit terms and conditions during this time period, the existing permit terms and conditions it seeks to modify may be enforced against it.
(vi) Permit shield. The permit shield under § 70.6(f) of this part may not extend to minor permit modifications.
(3) Group processing of minor permit modifications. Consistent with this paragraph, the permitting authority may modify the procedure outlined in paragraph (e)(2) of this section to process groups of a source's applications for certain modifications eligible for minor permit modification processing.
(i) Criteria. Group processing of modifications may be used only for those permit modifications:
(B) That collectively are below the threshold level approved by the Administrator as part of the approved program. Unless the State sets an alternative threshold consistent with the criteria set forth in paragraphs (e)(3)(i)(B) (1) and (2) of this section, this threshold shall be 10 percent of the emissions allowed by the permit for the emissions unit for which the change is requested, 20 percent of the applicable definition of major source in § 70.2 of this part, or 5 tons per year, whichever is least. In establishing any alternative threshold, the State shall consider:
(1) Whether group processing of amounts below the threshold levels reasonably alleviates severe administrative burdens that would be imposed by immediate permit modification review, and
(2) Whether individual processing of changes below the threshold levels would result in trivial environmental benefits.
(ii) Application. An application requesting the use of group processing procedures shall meet the requirements of § 70.5(c) of this part and shall include the following:
(A) A description of the change, the emissions resulting from the change, and any new applicable requirements that will apply if the change occurs.
(B) The source's suggested draft permit.
(C) Certification by a responsible official, consistent with § 70.5(d) of this part, that the proposed modification meets the criteria for use of group processing procedures and a request that such procedures be used.
(D) A list of the source's other pending applications awaiting group processing, and a determination of whether the requested modification, aggregated with these other applications, equals or exceeds the threshold set under paragraph (e)(3)(i)(B) of this section.
(E) Certification, consistent with § 70.5(d) of this part, that the source has notified EPA of the proposed modification. Such notification need only contain a brief description of the requested modification.
(iii) EPA and affected State notification. On a quarterly basis or within 5 business days of receipt of an application demonstrating that the aggregate of a source's pending applications equals or exceeds the threshold level set under paragraph (e)(3)(i)(B) of this section, whichever is earlier, the permitting authority promptly shall meet its obligations under §§ 70.8 (a)(1) and (b)(1) to notify the Administrator and affected States of the requested permit modifications. The permitting authority shall send any notice required under § 70.8(b)(2) of this part to the Administrator.
(iv) Timetable for issuance. The provisions of paragraph (e)(2)(iv) of this section shall apply to modifications eligible for group processing, except that the permitting authority shall take one of the actions specified in paragraphs (e)(2)(iv) (A) through (D) of this section within 180 days of receipt of the application or 15 days after the end of the Administrator's 45-day review period under § 70.8(c) of this part, whichever is later.
(v) Source's ability to make change. The provisions of paragraph (e)(2)(v) of this section shall apply to modifications eligible for group processing.
(vi) Permit shield. The provisions of paragraph (e)(2)(vi) of this section shall also apply to modifications eligible for group processing.
(4) Significant modification procedures -
(i) Criteria. Significant modification procedures shall be used for applications requesting permit modifications that do not qualify as minor permit modifications or as administrative amendments. The State program shall contain criteria for determining whether a change is significant. At a minimum, every significant change in existing monitoring permit terms or conditions and every relaxation of reporting or recordkeeping permit terms or conditions shall be considered significant. Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude the permittee from making changes consistent with this part that would render existing permit compliance terms and conditions irrelevant.
(ii) The State program shall provide that significant permit modifications shall meet all requirements of this part, including those for applications, public participation, review by affected States, and review by EPA, as they apply to permit issuance and permit renewal. The permitting authority shall design and implement this review process to complete review on the majority of significant permit modifications within 9 months after receipt of a complete application.
(f) Reopening for cause.
(1) Each issued permit shall include provisions specifying the conditions under which the permit will be reopened prior to the expiration of the permit. A permit shall be reopened and revised under any of the following circumstances:
(i) Additional applicable requirements under the Act become applicable to a major part 70 source with a remaining permit term of 3 or more years. Such a reopening shall be completed not later than 18 months after promulgation of the applicable requirement. No such reopening is required if the effective date of the requirement is later than the date on which the permit is due to expire, unless the original permit or any of its terms and conditions has been extended pursuant to § 70.4(b)(10) (i) or (ii) of this part.
(ii) Additional requirements (including excess emissions requirements) become applicable to an affected source under the acid rain program. Upon approval by the Administrator, excess emissions offset plans shall be deemed to be incorporated into the permit.
(iii) The permitting authority or EPA determines that the permit contains a material mistake or that inaccurate statements were made in establishing the emissions standards or other terms or conditions of the permit.
(2) Proceedings to reopen and issue a permit shall follow the same procedures as apply to initial permit issuance and shall affect only those parts of the permit for which cause to reopen exists. Such reopening shall be made as expeditiously as practicable.
(3) Reopenings under paragraph (f)(1) of this section shall not be initiated before a notice of such intent is provided to the part 70 source by the permitting authority at least 30 days in advance of the date that the permit is to be reopened, except that the permitting authority may provide a shorter time period in the case of an emergency.
(g) Reopenings for cause by EPA.
(1) If the Administrator finds that cause exists to terminate, modify, or revoke and reissue a permit pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, the Administrator will notify the permitting authority and the permittee of such finding in writing.
(2) The permitting authority shall, within 90 days after receipt of such notification, forward to EPA a proposed determination of termination, modification, or revocation and reissuance, as appropriate. The Administrator may extend this 90-day period for an additional 90 days if he finds that a new or revised permit application is necessary or that the permitting authority must require the permittee to submit additional information.
(4) The permitting authority shall have 90 days from receipt of an EPA objection to resolve any objection that EPA makes and to terminate, modify, or revoke and reissue the permit in accordance with the Administrator's objection.
(5) If the permitting authority fails to submit a proposed determination pursuant to paragraph (g)(2) of this section or fails to resolve any objection pursuant to paragraph (g)(4) of this section, the Administrator will terminate, modify, or revoke and reissue the permit after taking the following actions:
(i) Providing at least 30 days' notice to the permittee in writing of the reasons for any such action. This notice may be given during the procedures in paragraphs (g) (1) through (4) of this section.
(ii) Providing the permittee an opportunity for comment on the Administrator's proposed action and an opportunity for a hearing.
(h) Public participation. Except for modifications qualifying for minor permit modification procedures, all permit proceedings, including initial permit issuance, significant modifications, and renewals, shall provide adequate procedures for public notice including offering an opportunity for public comment and a hearing on the draft permit. These procedures shall include the following:
(1) Notice shall be given by one of the following methods: By publishing the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the source is located (or in a State publication designed to give general public notice) or by posting the notice, for the duration of the public comment period, on a public Web site identified by the permitting authority, if the permitting authority has selected Web site noticing as its “consistent noticing method.” The consistent noticing method shall be used for all draft permits subject to notice under this paragraph. If Web site noticing is selected as the consistent noticing method, the draft permit shall also be posted, for the duration of the public comment period, on a public Web site identified by the permitting authority. In addition, notice shall be given to persons on a mailing list developed by the permitting authority using generally accepted methods (e.g., hyperlink sign-up function or radio button on an agency Web site, sign-up sheet at a public hearing, etc.) that enable interested parties to subscribe to the mailing list. The permitting authority may update the mailing list from time to time by requesting written indication of continued interest from those listed. The permitting authority may delete from the list the name of any person who fails to respond to such a request within a reasonable timeframe. The permitting authority may use other means to provide adequate notice to the affected public;
(2) The notice shall identify the affected facility; the name and address of the permittee; the name and address of the permitting authority processing the permit; the activity or activities involved in the permit action; the emissions change involved in any permit modification; the name, address, and telephone number of a person (or an email or website address) from whom interested persons may obtain additional information, including copies of the permit draft, the statement required by § 70.7(a)(5) (sometimes referred to as the `statement of basis') for the draft permit, the application, all relevant supporting materials, including those set forth in § 70.4(b)(3)(viii) of this part, and all other materials available to the permitting authority (except for publicly-available materials and publications) that are relevant to the permit decision; a brief description of the comment procedures required by this part; and the time and place of any hearing that may be held, including a statement of procedures to request a hearing (unless a hearing has already been scheduled);
(4) Timing. The permitting authority shall provide at least 30 days for public comment and shall give notice of any public hearing at least 30 days in advance of the hearing.
(5) The permitting authority shall keep a record of the commenters and of the issues raised during the public participation process, as well as records of the written comments submitted during that process, so that the Administrator may fulfill his obligation under section 505(b)(2) of the Act to determine whether a citizen petition may be granted, and such records shall be available to the public.
(6) The permitting authority must respond in writing to all significant comments raised during the public participation process, including any such written comments submitted during the public comment period and any such comments raised during any public hearing on the permit.
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