Permits by Rule and Standard Exemptions
Facilities with emissions that do not meet de minimis criteria but will not make a significant contribution of air contaminants to the atmosphere may be permitted by rule. Facilities that are permitted by rule include less complex comfort heating facilities to more complex facilities and activities such as those found at oil and gas sites. The commission has adopted permits by rule (PBRs) in 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 106.
Subchapter A of Chapter 106 contains general requirements applicable to all PBRs, including (but not limited to) recordkeeping and emission limitations. In addition to the general requirements that are contained in Subchapter A, many individual PBRs also contain conditions specific to that PBR that must be met. When a PBR is claimed, applicable requirements of both the PBR and Subchapter A must be met. It should also be noted that some PBRs require registration and others do not.
"Standard exemption" is a term still well known in air permitting. Standard exemptions were codified into 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 106 as permits by rule. The term "exemption from permitting" was also used for a period of time to try and aptly name these authorizations.
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A facility that is authorized by a PBR, exemption from permitting, or standard exemption will always be authorized by it - even if the PBR (that now represents the exemption) subsequently changes. There are, however, two exceptions:
- When a facility is modified subsequent to the PBR, exemption from permitting, or standard exemption claim, the modification must be authorized. If the facility is to continue to be authorized by PBR, then it must meet the most recent version of the PBR; and
- If a PBR, exemption from permitting, or standard exemption is consolidated into a case-by-case permit by incorporation, the facility may need to meet different requirements based on the BACT and impacts review.