Alaska Air Quality Assessment Process (15-AK-a)
See EPA's The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act for more information.
The mission of the Air Permit Program is to protect the Alaskan environment by ensuring that air emissions from industrial operations in the state do not create unhealthy air. This is accomplished through permitting actions and compliance assurance inspections.
See Air Permit Program Webpage. The program manager is John Kuterbach (907-465-5100).
The Air Permit Program is divided into two categories: Title I and Title V. The Title I program deals specifically with air construction permits and minor source specific. Existing and new facilities that propose to construct or modify a stationary source would likely need to apply for a construction or minor source specific permit. The Title V program issues operating permits, along with permit avoidance approvals such as Owner Requested Limits and Pre-approved emission limits. Title I and Title V programs work closely together when processing permit applications or when dealing with permitting compliance enforcement actions. Construction Permits are legal documents that the source must follow. They specify what construction is allowed, what emission limits must be met, and often how the source can be operated. They may contain conditions to make sure that the source is built to match parameters in the application that the permit agency relied on in their analysis. To ensure that sources follow the permit requirements, permits also contain monitoring, record keeping, and reporting requirements. Title V issues operating permits to air pollution sources after the source has begun to operate. The operating permit program requires that major industrial sources and certain other sources obtain a permit that consolidates all of the applicable requirements for the facility into one document. This requirement comes from Title V of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990. The purpose of Title V permits is to reduce violations of air pollution laws and improve enforcement of those laws. If you are a new source that has not broken ground or if you are making a major modification to your source it is likely that you will need a Title I permit. Minor sources such as a rock crusher, asphalt plant or any source that is in the categories listed under 18 AAC 50.502 will need a Title I permit. For already existing sources, an operating permit or minor source specific would be required.
See Air Permit Program Information Webpage.
Air Quality Assessment Process Process
15-AK-a.1 to 15-AK-a.2 - Is the criteria in 18 AAC 50.502 met
Major source means any stationary source (or any group of stationary sources that are located on one or more contiguous or adjacent properties, and are under common control of the same person (or persons under common control)), belonging to a single major industrial grouping and that are described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this definition. For the purposes of defining “major source,” a stationary source or group of stationary sources shall be considered part of a single industrial grouping if all of the pollutant emitting activities at such source or group of sources on contiguous or adjacent properties belong to the same Major Group (i.e., all have the same two-digit code) as described in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987 (40 CFR 71.2). See also 18 AAC 50.502.
15-AK-a.3 - Determine Classification of Proposed Project and Applicable Air Quality Standards
It is also important to consider the project's proximity to protected (Class I) areas. The Class I areas in Alaska are:
- Denali National Park (including the Denali Wilderness but excluding the Denali National Preserve)
- Bering Sea National Wildlife Refuge designated as a National Wilderness Area
- Simeonof National Wildlife Refuge designated as a National Wilderness Area
- Tuxedni National Wildlife Refuge designated as a National Wilderness Area
There are also visibility protection measures for (1) Mount Deborah and the Alaska Range East as viewed from approximately the Savage River Campground area and (2) Mount McKinley, Alaska Range and the Interior Lowlands as viewed from the vicinity of Wonder Lake.
15-AK-a.4 - Air Quality Construction Permit Application
The construction applications are available on the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation permits webpage. The date of receipt of the application is the date that the department has received all required information under Alaska Stat. § 46.14.160.
A timely application is one received within 12 months after the source becomes subject to the permit program. Sources required to submit applications earlier than 12 months after the source becomes subject to the permit program will be notified of the earlier submittal date at least 6 months in advance of the date.
Required Application Content
- Identifying information, including company name and address (or plant name and address if different from the company name), owner's name and agent, and telephone number and names of plant site manager/contact.
- A description of the source's processes and products (by SIC Code) including those associated with any proposed AOS identified by the source.
- The following emissions-related information:
(i) All emissions of pollutants for which the source is major, and all emissions of regulated air pollutants. A permit application shall describe all emissions of regulated air pollutants emitted from any emissions unit, except where such units are exempted under this paragraph (c). The permitting authority shall require additional information related to the emissions of air pollutants sufficient to verify which requirements are applicable to the source, and other information necessary to collect any permit fees owed under the fee schedule established pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 71.9(b).
(ii) Identification and description of all points of emissions described in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section in sufficient detail to establish the basis for fees and applicability of requirements of the Act.
(iii) Emissions rates in tpy and in such terms as are necessary to establish compliance consistent with the applicable standard reference test method. For emissions units subject to an annual emissions cap, tpy can be reported as part of the aggregate emissions associated with the cap, except where more specific information is needed, including where necessary to determine and/or assure compliance with an applicable requirement.
(iv) The following information to the extent it is needed to determine or regulate emissions: fuels, fuel use, raw materials, production rates, and operating schedules.
(v) Identification and description of air pollution control equipment and compliance monitoring devices or activities.
(vi) Limitations on source operation affecting emissions or any work practice standards, where applicable, for all regulated pollutants at the part 71 source.
(vii) Other information required by any applicable requirement (including information related to stack height limitations developed pursuant to section 123 of the Act).
(viii) Calculations on which the information in paragraphs (c)(3) (i) through (vii) of this section is based.
- The following air pollution control requirements:
(i) Citation and description of all applicable requirements; and
(ii) Description of or reference to any applicable test method for determining compliance with each applicable requirement.
- Other specific information that may be necessary to implement and enforce other applicable requirements of the Act or of this part or to determine the applicability of such requirements.
- An explanation of any proposed exemptions from otherwise applicable requirements.
- Additional information as determined to be necessary by the permitting authority to define proposed AOSs identified by the source pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 71.6(a)(9) or to define permit terms and conditions implementing any AOS under § 71.6(a)(9) or implementing 40 C.F.R. § 71.6(a)(10) or 40 C.F.R. § 71.6(a)(13). The permit application shall include documentation demonstrating that the source has obtained all authorization(s) required under the applicable requirements relevant to any proposed AOSs, or a certification that the source has submitted all relevant materials to the appropriate permitting authority for obtaining such authorization(s).
- A compliance plan for all part 71 sources that contains all the following:
(i) A description of the compliance status of the source with respect to all applicable requirements.
(ii) A description as follows:
(A) For applicable requirements with which the source is in compliance, a statement that the source will continue to comply with such requirements.
(B) For applicable requirements that will become effective during the permit term, a statement that the source will meet such requirements on a timely basis.
(C) For requirements for which the source is not in compliance at the time of permit issuance, a narrative description of how the source will achieve compliance with such requirements.
(D) For applicable requirements associated with a proposed AOS, a statement that the source will meet such requirements upon implementation of the AOS. If a proposed AOS would implicate an applicable requirement that will become effective during the permit term, a statement that the source will meet such requirements on a timely basis.
(iii) A compliance schedule as follows:
(A) For applicable requirements with which the source is in compliance, a statement that the source will continue to comply with such requirements.
(B) For applicable requirements that will become effective during the permit term, a statement that the source will meet such requirements on a timely basis. A statement that the source will meet in a timely manner applicable requirements that become effective during the permit term shall satisfy this provision, unless a more detailed schedule is expressly required by the applicable requirement.
(C) A schedule of compliance for sources that are not in compliance with all applicable requirements at the time of permit issuance. Such a schedule shall include a schedule of remedial measures, including an enforceable sequence of actions with milestones, leading to compliance with any applicable requirements for which the source will be in noncompliance at the time of permit issuance. This compliance schedule shall resemble and be at least as stringent as that contained in any judicial consent decree or administrative order to which the source is subject. Any such schedule of compliance shall be supplemental to, and shall not sanction noncompliance with, the applicable requirements on which it is based.
(D) For applicable requirements associated with a proposed AOS, a statement that the source will meet such requirements upon implementation of the AOS. If a proposed AOS would implicate an applicable requirement that will become effective during the permit term, a statement that the source will meet such requirements on a timely basis. A statement that the source will meet in a timely manner applicable requirements that become effective during the permit term will satisfy this provision, unless a more detailed schedule is expressly required by the applicable requirement.
(iv) A schedule for submission of certified progress reports no less frequently than every 6 months for sources required to have a schedule of compliance to remedy a violation.
(v) The compliance plan content requirements specified in this paragraph shall apply and be included in the acid rain portion of a compliance plan for an affected source, except as specifically superseded by regulations promulgated under parts 72 through 78 of this chapter with regard to the schedule and method(s) the source will use to achieve compliance with the acid rain emissions limitations.
- Requirements for compliance certification, including the following:
(i) A certification of compliance with all applicable requirements by a responsible official consistent with paragraph (d) of this section and section 114(a)(3) of the Act;
(ii) A statement of methods used for determining compliance, including a description of monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements and test methods;
(iii) A schedule for submission of compliance certifications during the permit term, to be submitted no less frequently than annually, or more frequently if specified by the underlying applicable requirement or by the permitting authority; and
(iv) A statement indicating the source's compliance status with any applicable enhanced monitoring and compliance certification requirements of the Act.
- The use of nationally-standardized forms for acid rain portions of permit applications and compliance plans, as required by regulations promulgated under parts 72 through 78 of this chapter.
See 40 C.F.R. § 71.5.
15-AK-a.5 to 15-AK-a.6 - Review Application Materials for Completeness
If the application is incomplete, the applicant is notified in writing of the deficiencies in the application. Unless the department determines than an application is not complete within 60 days of receipt of the application, the application shall be deemed to be complete. If the department determines additional information is required after the application is deemed complete, the department will notify the applicant in writing with a reasonable deadline. See 40 C.F.R. § 71.5.
15-AK-a.7 - Preliminary Decision to Approve or Deny Permit Application
A preliminary determination is made and distributed for public comments. Under 40 C.F.R. § 71.8, the permitting authority shall provide notice of each draft permit.
15-AK-a.8 - Public Comment Period
The department will provide at least 30 days for the public to comment and upon its own motion or upon a request in accordance with 18 AAC 15.060, will hold a public hearing as described in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18, § 15.060.
15-AK-a.9 to 15-AK-a.10 - Is there a Public or ADEC Request to Hold a Public Hearing
Upon request, a public hearing will be held to hear public concerns regarding the proposed emissions.
15-AK-a.11 - Final Construction Permit
The department may include terms and conditions under Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18, § 50.316. Reporting requirements and fees may be assigned under the permit.
Standard permit requirements are contained in 40 C.F.R. 71.6. Generally, the permit should include emissions limitations and standards, the permit duration, monitoring and related recordkeeping and reporting requirements, a severability clause, fee requirements, emissions trading, the permit expiration provision, modification and flexibility.
15-AK-a.12 - Construct Project Under Permit Conditions
The project may go forward and complete construction under the terms and conditions of the permit. The applicant may be required under the permit to submit to monitoring during construction and operation.
15-AK-a.13 to 15-AK-a.15 - Does Source Require a Title V Operating Permit
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