rnew1125.txt

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Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
Interoffice Memorandum

To:  Permit Engineers
Date:  March 10, 1997
From:  Victoria Hsu, P.E., Director, New Source Review Permitting Division
Subject:  Permit Renewal Requirements

Senate Bill 1125, which was passed in the 74th legislative session, states that the commission
may not impose conditions more stringent than the existing permit unless the commission
determines more stringent conditions are necessary to avoid a condition of air pollution or to
ensure compliance with other state and federal air quality control requirements.  This  legislation
also addressed when the commission may consider a request for a hearing on a renewal or
amendment  reasonable; however, this aspect of the legislation is not specifically addressed in
this memo.  Any requests for a hearing on a renewal should be deferred to the Legal Division
for consideration of the "reasonableness of the request" in accordance with the procedural rules
(30TAC 263).  Regulation VI, 30 TAC Chapter 116, has been amended  to incorporate changes
in the renewal requirements per SB 1125.  The corresponding guidance document, "Technical
Guidance Package for Permit Renewals," has also been revised.   The purpose of this memo is
to clarify the legislative intent as it applies to renewals and to address issues that were not
specifically considered in the guidance document.

For a facility to be granted a permit, the owner or operator must demonstrate that the facility will
comply with the rules and regulations and the intent of the TCAA.  Once the permit is granted,
it is assumed that the original demonstration is valid unless the commission concludes a condition
of air pollution exists due to the operation of the facility under consideration of renewal. 
Therefore the language contained in 116.310 was specifically written to refocus the permit
renewal requirement on compliance with the facility's permit or any applicable regulatory
requirements to which the facility may be subject.  For a facility which is operating in substantial
compliance with its permit and for which there are no complaints from the surrounding
community,  the permit should be renewed without requiring additional controls or permit
conditions.  This also means the traditional demonstration of impacts through modeling is not
a requirement for obtaining a permit renewal unless there are specific violations or a history of
complaints associated with the operation of the facility.  Compliance problems and/or complaints
should be brought to the attention of the team leader/section manager to determine if additional
conditions or controls are warranted pursuant to SB 1125.

The renewal review is intended to continue the operation for which a permit was originally
sought.  It is not intended to authorize changes in operation, physical modifications or
construction of new facilities.  The permit engineer should do a thorough evaluation of the file
to ascertain that the original design and operation of the facility is not being modified with the
renewal submittal.  Such changes would require alternative authorization through standard
permit, standard exemption or  permit amendment.  This alternative authorization does not
include authorizing changes made prior to May 19, 1995 with the claim they would not today be
considered a modification pursuant SB 1126.

During permit renewal reviews there are occasions in which there is no established allowable
table or air contaminants and/ or sources are missing.   For permits that were issued without a
Maximum Allowable Emission Rate Table (MAERT), the emissions from the facility undergoing
renewal should be quantified and a MAERT created to accurately reflect the facility's operation. 
If a permit was issued with a MAERT but a facility or air contaminant was omitted, the
associated emissions should be quantified based on the original design criteria using current
calculation methodologies and good engineering judgement and added to the MAERT.  The
MAERT should also be updated to reflect current calculation methods and to roll in any standard
exemption authorizations or standard permits that may apply. 

The inclusion of omitted facilities, increased emission levels or new air contaminants on the
MAERT may require additional evaluation to ensure that the permit is being protective as well
as to determine the applicability of any federal permitting programs.  The reviewing engineer
should make an initial determination on whether additional analysis is needed for the increase
in potential to emit.  Generally, if the net emission increases are below the 25/250 tpy limit they
will not be considered significant.  Standard exemptions and standard permits should not be
included in the assessment of the significance limit, but rather rolled into the permit without
review.  The standard exemption, "cumulative effects" focus group will be examining this
practice and may recommend changes to this policy in the future.

If the net emission increases are above the significance level, the engineer should evaluate best
available control technology, the associated off property impact and any federal implications,
consistent with the review that would have been conducted when the permit was originally
sought.