Office of Air
Steve Hagle, P.E., Deputy Director
Mike Wilson, P.E., Director
The Air Permits Division processes air permits and authorizations for facilities that, when operational, would emit contaminants into the atmosphere. The division does this through two major air permitting programs, New Source Review (NSR) Permits and Title V Federal Operating Permits.
New Source Review Permits
Several potential air authorizations fall under the category of NSR Permits:
- De Minimis
- Permits by Rule (PBR)
- Standard Permit (SP)
- Construction, Modification
- Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)
Title V Federal Operating Permits
Two kinds of permits are possible under the category of Title V Federal Operating Permits:
- Site Operating Permit
- General Operating Permit
David Brymer, Director
The Air Quality Division works to protect and restore air quality through four programs.
Air Implementation Grants
Under the Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP), Air Implementation Grants provide funding and financial incentives to offset the costs of eligible projects that reduce emissions of NOx from high-emitting diesel sources.
Air Industrial Emissions Assessment
- Provides information about the Toxic Release Inventory Program.
- Maintains the inventory of point source emissions for industrial sources of air contaminants.
- Develops the emissions inventory for area emissions, such as those from small businesses that are not regulated as point sources.
- Assists companies in interpreting emissions and inspection-fee rules and performs audits to ensure fees have been correctly reported.
Air Modeling and Data Analysis
- Analyzes data and conducts photochemical models in support of pollution control strategies and designs.
- Manages air quality research for the agency, including the:
- Texas Air Quality Study (2005-06), which examines the causes of air pollution in Texas and collects data critical to developing controls to meet new federal clean air standards; and
- Texas Air Quality Study (2000), data from which are used in the development of the State Implementation Plan.
- Coordinates the Rider 8 program, an initiative that supports air quality planning activities to reduce ozone in specified areas of the state. The areas include: Waco, El Paso, Beaumont, Austin, Corpus Christi, Longview-Tyler-Marshall, San Antonio, and Victoria.
Air Quality Planning
- Coordinates the development and implementation of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) — the state’s plan for air quality protection and improvement — which explains how the state will comply with federal air quality standards.
- Performs research to identify and develop appropriate pollution control measures.
- Develops the emissions inventory for mobile sources of air contaminants.
- Reviews federally funded projects such as airports, roads, and ports to ensure they comply with the SIP. Also reviews transportation projects in nonattainment areas to ensure emissions do not exceed budgets in the SIP.
- Administers the state’s Low-Emission Diesel, Low Reid Vapor Pressure Gasoline, and Gasoline Vapor Recovery programs.
- Implements a number of other programs to reduce pollution related to transportation:
- Administers the Air Emissions Banking and Trading Program, which:
- provides flexibility for compliance with the federal Clean Air Act through a market-based framework for emissions banking and trading while achieving net reductions in air emissions, and
- offers incentives for voluntary air emissions reductions.
- Implements the Tax Relief Program for Pollution Control Property, which provides determinations of whether certain pollution control property may be exempted from property taxes.
- Evaluates appropriate pollution control strategies, develops plans to implement the stationary source control measures necessary to comply with federal air quality standards, and provides technical guidance to stakeholders affected by these regulations.