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Announcements for New Source Review

Announcements of meetings, regulatory changes, and other significant information from the Air Permits Division. List includes all announcements for approximately the past six-months.

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See our Greenhouse Gas Permitting web page, if you have questions about greenhouse gas Title V or PSD permitting in Texas, or obtaining a TCEQ-issued greenhouse gas Title V or PSD permit.


New Information October 2, 2017: ePermits Announcement

As of February 1, 2018, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Air Permits Division (APD) will begin requiring all applicants to submit permit-by-rule (PBR) and standard permit (STDP) registration applications via ePermits.

This requirement will not apply to Concrete Batch Plants, Rock and Concrete Crushers, Hot Mix Asphalt Plants, Polyphosphate Blenders, or portables. Submittal of these application types is not yet available through the ePermits system.

For more information on the background and purpose of ePermits, please see the August 8, 2017 approved memo titled Permit-By-Rule and Standard Permit Registration Application Procedures. Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Facts about applications submitted using ePermits:

  • ePermits applications that meet specific parameters are completed within 24 hours, typically resulting in an immediate response.
  • ePermits applications that require further evaluation by staff average only 29.5 days to completion.
  • PBR and STDP applications submitted via paper/hardcopy average at least 45 days. The handling, entry, sorting, processing, and distribution of paper copies typically adds a minimum of 15 days to your review time.
  • Submitting hardcopy applications for Expedite PBR and STDP applications adds 7 to 15 days of processing time to the project.

Did you know...

  • With APD processing approximately 7,000 to 8,000 PBRs and STDPs per year, ePermits offers a substantial savings in time and resources.
  • ePermits allows APD to streamline applications and maximize resources for project reviews instead of paper handling and data entry.
  • In addition, ePermits allows many applicants to receive an immediate approval rather than waiting an average of 45 days.
  • APD is working to accept case-by-case New Source Review renewals through ePermits as early as December 31, 2017.
  • APD will continue to work towards its goal of accepting all applications via ePermits
  • Of the more than 7,000 PBRs and STDPs APD issued in FY16, over 2,000 applicants received an immediate response. Over 3,600 applicants could have used ePermits and received their authorizations at least 15 days sooner. Over 400 of those could have received an immediate response.

Using ePermits is simple, to submit an ePermit application:

  • Click on "eRegistrations" under the TCEQ Online Services on the TCEQ website.
  • Next, click on "Register thru STEERS" and follow the instructions.

If you have any questions on the process, contact APD at 512-239-1250 and ask to speak to someone regarding submitting an ePermits application.


New Information September 15, 2017: Updates to Modeling and Effects Review Applicability (MERA) Guidance

The TCEQ is excited to release an updated Modeling and Effects Review Applicability (MERA) Guidance Document Adobe Acrobat PDF Document with the primary intent of increasing ease of use and clarity. The current version of the MERA Guidance Document, dated July 2009 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document, is also available for reference.

The updated document includes limited technical changes and additional opportunities for streamlining the health impacts review process while continuing to ensure the protection of human health and welfare. In restructuring the document, some of the less frequently used steps have been removed; however, applicants may continue to request the use of these former steps for a case-by-case analysis.

Questions or comments may be submitted through October 15, 2017 at mera2017@tceq.texas.gov. The final guidance is anticipated to be released at the end of November.


December 21, 2016: HGB and 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Reclassification

While TCEQ staff can provide information regarding TCEQ's rules and permitting practices, TCEQ staff cannot provide legal advice. The information provided below is not legal advice, is not a final decision of the Commission, and does not bind the Commission's authority in any way in any future action.

EPA proposed approval of a redesignation substitute and finding of attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area on May 25, 2016; and the final approval notice was published on November 8, 2016 with an effective date of December 8, 2016. However, the HGB area did not attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS by its marginal attainment date of July 20, 2015. EPA proposed reclassification to moderate on September 27, 2016, and finalized the reclassification on December 14, 2016. The HGB area is currently designated nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, classified as moderate.

Under EPA and TCEQ rules, applicable NSR major source / modification thresholds are determined according to the most stringent nonattainment area classification for all NAAQS for which the area is nonattainment. All applications for NSR authorizations for new construction or modification of facilities or emissions units that will be located in any area designated as nonattainment for ozone as of the date of issuance of the permit are subject to the nonattainment requirements of 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 116, Subchapter B, Division 5, unless certain specified criteria apply on the date of issuance of the permit. See 30 TAC Section 116.150(a).

This means that effective on December 14, 2016, all pending NSR applications (those not issued) are subject to the applicable classification for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Therefore, pending applications will be processed according to the moderate major source thresholds and emission offset requirements. Every affected pending application will be evaluated by the assigned permit staff to determine how it will be impacted by this transition. Each applicant should discuss their particular application status with the assigned permit staff to evaluate the application changes appropriate and necessary for their application.

For any questions regarding permitting please contact Betsy Peticolas of the Air Permits Division at 512-239-6033. For any questions related to pending legal challenges contact the Environmental Law Division at 512-239-0600.


December 20, 2016: Concrete Batch Plant Standard Permit Public Notice Changes

On December 7, 2016, the TCEQ adopted revisions to the public notice rules for initial registrations for the Air Quality Standard Permit for Concrete Batch Plants. The rule change consolidates the publication of the first and second public notices into a single notice. Public comments, requests for public meetings, and requests for contested case hearings will be accepted for 30 days after publication of the consolidated notice. Applications to register for the Concrete Batch Plant Standard Permit received on and after January 1, 2017, will be subject to the consolidated notice rules. Renewal applications for the standard permit were not affected by the rulemaking. Instructions for public notice are sent to applicants.

For more information, visit "Standard Permit for Concrete Batch Plants."

The rules will be published in the Texas Register on December 23, 2016. To review the adopted rules look for the Concrete Batch Plant Notice project on the Rule Adoptions website.


November 9, 2016: HGB and 1997 8-Hour Ozone Redesignation Substitute

While TCEQ staff can provide information regarding TCEQ's rules and permitting practices, TCEQ staff cannot provide legal advice. The information provided below is not legal advice, is not a final decision of the Commission, and does not bind the Commission's authority in any way in any future action.

EPA proposed approval of a redesignation substitute and finding of attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area on May 25, 2016; and the final approval notice was published on November 8, 2016 with an effective date of December 8, 2016. The HGB area is currently designated nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, classified as marginal. However, the HGB area did not attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS by its marginal attainment date of July 20, 2015, and is expected to be reclassified to moderate with a new attainment date of July 20, 2018. EPA proposed the reclassification on September 27, 2016, and is expected to finalize the reclassification sometime in December, 2016.

Under EPA and TCEQ rules, applicable NSR major source / modification thresholds are determined according to the most stringent nonattainment area classification for all NAAQS for which the area is nonattainment. All applications for NSR authorizations for new construction or modification of facilities or emissions units that will be located in any area designated as nonattainment for ozone as of the date of issuance of the permit are subject to the nonattainment requirements of 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 116, Subchapter B, Division 5, unless certain specified criteria apply on the date of issuance of the permit. See 30 TAC Section 116.150(a).

This means that when the redesignation substitute and finding of attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS becomes effective on December 8, 2016, all pending NSR applications (those not issued) are subject to the applicable classification for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, which for a short time could mean pending applications will be processed according to the marginal major source thresholds and emission offset requirements. Every affected pending application will be evaluated by the assigned permit staff to determine how it will be impacted by this transition. Each applicant should discuss their particular application status with the assigned permit staff to evaluate the application changes appropriate and necessary for their application.

For any questions regarding permitting please contact Betsy Peticolas of the Air Permits Division at 512-239-6033. For any questions related to pending legal challenges contact the Environmental Law Division at 512-239-0600.


September 22, 2016: Guidance on Expedited Air Permits Process

In order to provide a high level of efficient service and commitment to the processing of all expedited applications, with additional resources, the TCEQ has finalized a few changes to the Expedited Air Permits Process. Beginning October 1, 2016, surcharge payments must be submitted at the time of the expedited request. Updated guidance to Implementation of the Expedited Permitting Program. Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

In addition, to ensure the most effective processing of all expedite applications, responses to any requests for information should be provided in a timely manner. Projects with delayed responses, deficient or incomplete responses, or other excessive applicant initiated delays will be removed from the expedited permitting program and the remaining surcharge refunded.