Greenhouse Gas Permitting
Guidance regarding options to document non-major GHG emissions and voluntarily update GHG special conditions is now available.
On December 19, 2014, the EPA issued two memos regarding GHG Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits issued to sources under Step 2 of the Tailoring rule (non-anyway sources).
- Next Steps for Addressing EPA-Issued Step 2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration Greenhouse Gas Permits and Associated Requirements.
- No Action Assurance Regarding EPA-Issued Step 2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permits and Related Title V Requirements Following Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Federal Register Notice: Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting for Greenhouse Gases: Providing Option for Rescission of EPA-Issued Tailoring Rule Step 2 Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permits.
For more information about PSD and greenhouse gases see our TCEQ fact sheet "PSD Applicability for Greenhouse Gases."
- Status of GHG PSD applications submitted to the EPA
- The EPA’s Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gases
- Use the Air Permits Division’s New Source Review Air Permits database to view the status of submitted GHG projects:
- In Step 1, for the Permit Type box, select “Greenhouse Gas PSD” from the drop down menu.
- In Step 2, for the Status box, select the radio button next to “ALL.” Click Search.
- TCEQ tracking numbers and corresponding EPA-issued GHG PSD numbers for “anyway” sources.
Q and A on GHGs
Q: I am not subject to PSD permitting for non-GHG pollutants, but my emissions of GHGs exceed the thresholds in Section 116.164(a)(3), (a)(4), or (a)(5). Am I required to get a GHG PSD permit?
A: No, you are not required to get a GHG PSD permit.
On June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. The court determined that a source cannot be considered a major facility for PSD permitting based solely on emissions of GHGs above major source thresholds. In other words, a source is subject to PSD permitting (i.e., BACT) for its GHG emissions only when emissions of non-GHGs are above major source thresholds as well.
On July 24, 2014, the EPA issued a memo detailing its next steps regarding and preliminary views on the impact the opinion had on EPA rules. The EPA stated that (consistent with the opinion), it would no longer require PSD permitting based on emissions of GHGs.
On November 10, 2014, the EPA published two notices in the Federal Register related to GHG permitting in Texas: The State Implementation Plan approval, and the Federal Implementation Plan withdrawal. These combined actions gave TCEQ the authority to issue PSD permits for GHGs. The EPA only approved the TCEQ rules that are consistent with the Supreme Court opinion. The EPA did not take action on the portions of TCEQ’s rules that addressed sources that are major emitters based solely on emissions of GHGs, and those rules are not applied in Texas.
Q: If I am required to obtain a Nonattainment New Source Review permit, do I have to evaluate greenhouse gases for Prevention of Significant Deterioration as part of that permit action?
A: No. GHG PSD applicability is dependent on another pollutant triggering PSD. The GHG rules were adopted in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 116, Subchapter B, Division 6. The rules for Nonattainment permits are in Division 5. Applicability of nonattainment review does not affect GHG PSD.
- Operators that are issued a GHG PSD permit from EPA under Step 1 of the Tailoring rule (anyway sources) will incorporate that permit as an applicable requirement as defined in 30 TAC Section 122.10
November 10, 2014: On November 10, 2014, EPA published two actions in the Federal Register that gave TCEQ authority over the GHG Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program in Texas.
- The Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Prevention of Significant Deterioration; Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule Revisions is the approval of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions which are consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency.
- The Approval and Promulgation of the Air Quality Implementation Plans; Withdrawal of Federal Implementation Plan; Texas; Prevention of Significant Deterioration; Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule Revisions is the rescission of the Federal Implementation Plan (FIP).
July 24, 2014: The EPA issued a memo "Next Steps and Preliminary Views on the Application of Clean Air Act Permitting Programs to Greenhouse Gases Following the Supreme Court’s Decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency."
June 23, 2014: The Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion that affects GHG permitting. Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency et al. Additional information is available at the EPA’s website .
June 25, 2013: House Bill (HB) 788 authorizes TCEQ Permitting of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
HB 788, 83rd Legislature, became law on June 14, 2013. This legislation gives Texas the authority to develop rules to authorize major sources of GHG emissions to the extent required by federal law. Texas is currently subject to a Federal Implementation Plan, which means that major sources of GHG emissions are required to obtain a GHG permit from the EPA.
In order to implement HB 788, several chapters in the Texas Administrative Code relating to air permitting and public notice will need to be amended. After the necessary rule changes are adopted by the TCEQ, they must be approved by the EPA as part of the Texas State Implementation Plan before the TCEQ can begin reviewing applications and issuing permits for GHG emissions.
The EPA will remain the permitting authority for GHG emissions in Texas until rulemaking is completed, the EPA approves the SIP and then withdraws the FIP. TCEQ will be coordinating with the EPA regarding the transition period for accepting and processing GHG applications, and will make that information available as it develops.
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