RAPID/Geothermal/New Mexico/Air Quality

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

New Mexico Geothermal Air Quality Assessment(15-NM)

In New Mexico, developers may be required to obtain multiple air quality permits for their project. One project may necessitate both an Air Quality Construction Permit and an Air Quality Construction permit from NMED.

Developers must obtain an Air Quality Construction Permit from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) before beginning construction if their project will result in a specified level of air pollutants. NMAC 20.2.72.200. For example, a permit is required if the developer is constructing a stationary source which has a potential emission rate greater than 10 pounds per hour or 25 tons per year of any regulated air contaminant for which there is a National or New Mexico Ambient Air Quality Standard. NMAC 20.2.72.200. Developers may be able to exclude certain sources which are outside of those activities requiring an Air Quality Permit pursuant to NMAC 20.2.72.202(A). Developers must apply for an Air Quality Construction permit with NMED, which requires extensive information on the air contaminants the source will emit and compliance with public notice and hearing requirements. Developers may be required by NMED to conduct operational testing following issuance of the permit. NMAC 20.2.72.213.

Developers may request accelerated review of their Air Quality Construction Permit Application by an outside firm. NMAC 20.2.72.221(B)(1). NMED will allow accelerated review of an application only if there is at least one qualified outside firm under contract with NMED. If there are multiple outside firms available, then NMED will accept bids from the firms and determine which should complete the review. NMAC 20.2.72.221(B). The outside firm’s analysis of the application is not binding on NMED. NMED has full authority to accept or reject the outside firm’s determination regarding the application. NMAC 20.2.72.221(D)(2).

Developers may be required to obtain a Title V Air Quality Operating permit from NMED if their sources have the potential to emit certain levels of air pollutants. For example, a Title V permit is required under NMAC 20.2.70 for sources that have a potential to emit more than 100 tons per year for criteria pollutants and for landfills greater than 2.5 million cubic meters. Certain activities are deemed so trivial that they need not be included in the permit application. Developers must apply for an Air Quality Operating Permit with NMED, which requires extensive information on the emissions, applicable air pollution control requirements, and any other information that may be necessary for successful review. Developers may be required to participate in a public hearing. NMAC 20.2.70.401(A). If the application is approved by NMED, then NMED issues an operating permit for a fixed term of five years. NMAC 20.2.70.302(B).

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