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TNRCC TECHNICAL GUIDANCE


OFFICE  OF  AIR  QUALITY                            Fact Sheet 28


SUBJECT:  Before Your Permit is Issued

What is "Start of Construction?"

Section 382.0518(a) of the Texas Clean Air 
Act (relating to preconstruction authorization)
states: "Before work is begun on the
construction of a new facility or a modification
of an existing facility that may emit air
contaminants, the person planning the
construction or modification must obtain a
permit from the board."

Various inquiries have prompted the TNRCC
to issue guidelines as to what is considered
"start of construction."  Construction shall be
broadly interpreted as anything other than site
clearance or site preparation.

Equipment may be received at a plant site and
stored provided no attempt is made to assemble
the equipment or to connect the equipment into
any electrical, plumbing, or other utility
system.  Portable equipment such as hot mix
asphalt plants and rock crushers may be placed
on the property provided no work is done to
assemble or erect the equipment.

All work such as excavation, form erection, or
steel laying pertaining to foundations upon
which permit units will rest shall be considered
construction.  For permit units not requiring a
concrete foundation, the erection or
construction of associated items like earthen
dams, placement of piling, soil stabilization,
storage tank fills, or retaining structures shall
be considered construction, and will NOT be
allowed without prior receipt of the
construction permit.

Land clearing, soil load bearing tests, leveling
of the area, sewer and utility lines, road
building, power line installation, fencing,
construction shack building, etc., are
considered "site clearance/preparation." 
However, once the soil and site are ready for
foundations, the first excavation into the
readied soil is "start of construction."

If you have any questions regarding the
definition of "start  of construction," please
submit them in writing to the Office of Air
Quality, New Source Review Program, with
copies to the appropriate TNRCC regional
office and any local program(s).  Please note
that statements made over the telephone or
during meetings are not acceptable as
authorization to perform any activity which
may subsequently be determined to be
unauthorized "start of construction."  Each
request for clarification must be in writing with
sufficient detail to identify the specific activity
in question, and the TNRCC authorization in
response to this request must be in writing for
the authorization to be valid.

                           ------------

                REMEMBER -- VERBAL REQUESTS AND
                  AUTHORIZATIONS OR AGREEMENTS
                  REACHED VIA TELEPHONE OR IN
                 MEETINGS ARE NOT VALID UNLESS
                    FOLLOWED UP WITH WRITTEN
                  REQUESTS AND AUTHORIZATIONS!
                                                                  
                   
             Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
                         P. O. Box 13087 (MC-162)
                        Austin, Texas 78711-3087
                        Telephone (512) 239-1240
                                
                               
The TNRCC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  The
agency does not allow discrimination on the basis of race, color,
religion, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or
veteran status.  In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities
Act, this document may be requested in alternate formats by
contacting the TNRCC at (512) 239-0010, FAX 239-0055, or 1-800
RELAY-TX(TDD), or by writing P.O. Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087.
                                
 RG-121                               Rev 3/95