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Georgia Environmental News

Emissions Fees Due by September 1, 2014

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Just a friendly reminder that all emissions fees are due by September 1, 2014. All Title V major sources and synthetic minor sources are required to pay annual emission fees. The manual for completing the fee calculations can be found here: http://www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/html/aqrules/fee.htm.

In order to complete the fee assessment, all facilities should use the Georgia Environmental Connections Online (GECO) application, which can be found here http://geco.georgiaair.org/.

EPD Releases GHG Implementation Policy Following Recent Supreme Court Decision

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that portions of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule were not valid as they pertain to the Federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. When finalized, GHGs will not be considered in determining "Major Source Status" with respect to the PSD or Title V permitting programs. The Georgia Rules for Air Quality Control (GRAQC) currently incorporate the PSD regulations by reference. Therefore, per the GRAQC for PSD, subparagraph (v) of the GHG Tailoring Rule is no longer effective. Once the Appeals Court vacates this portion of the federal rules, existing sources may apply to remove GHG-related requirements from their permits. Additionally, if an existing source was permitted as a major Title V operating source due to GHG emissions only, the source may apply to become Title V minor sources. For a closer look at EPD's implementation policy, please visit the following website: http://www.georgiaair.org/airpermit/downloads/sspp/ghg/070214epdghgpolicy.pdf.

Emissions Inventories Due by August 1, 2014

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Just a friendly reminder that all emissions inventories are due by August 1, 2014. All Title V major sources are required to complete the annual emissions inventory per 40 CFR 51. Additionally, all major sources in the Atlanta metro maintenance area are required to complete an emissions statement with regards to annual NOx and VOC emissions. In order to complete the emissions inventory and statement, all facilities should use the Georgia Environmental Connections Online (GECO) application, which can be found here http://geco.georgiaair.org/.

EPD Publishes New Antidegradation Analysis Guidelines

Monday, June 02, 2014

As of May 2014, EPD has formally published new Antidegradation Analysis Guidelines pursuant to 40 CFR 131.12 and Georgia's Rules and Regulations for Water Quality Control 391-3-6-.03(2)(b). The new guidelines supercede the 1997 GA Antidegradation Procedures and the applicable portions of the 1999 Domestic Wastewater Systems Planning Guidelines. The new guidelines "spell out" exactly when an antidegradation review is triggered and also provides three (3) basic steps in the review process for industrial point sources of wastewater.

  • Applicant must demonstrate no "lowering" of water quality (No further analysis required if the applicant can demonstrate this to be true).
  • If water quality is lowered, must evaluate the social and economic impacts.
  • Must perform a "reasonable alternatives" analysis to demonstrate that there are no other feasible options for discharge of wastewater into surface water bodies of the state.

The new policy guidelines can be found on EPD's website or by clicking the link below. http://www.acoel.org/post/2012/02/23/The-Fate-of-Georgia-EPD%E2%80%99s-Antidegradation-Policy-is-Muddier-than-Ever.aspx

Bibb and Floyd County Nonattainment Areas Re-designated by the EPA

Monday, June 02, 2014

On May 13 and 14, 2014 EPA designated the Bibb County and Floyd Nonattainment Areas (NAA) as attainment/unclassifiable with respect to the 1997 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), respectively. The finding was based on the determination that Georgia has met the criteria for redesignation to attainment set forth in the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The NAAQS provide the public protection from PM2.5 pollution. PM2.5 can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems in all people and can cause serious health complications for sensitive groups. For areas that are classified as non-attainment, the states must draft a state implementation plan (SIP) that includes recommendations to improve the air quality in nonattainment areas. Recommendations in the SIP can significantly impact the permitting and operational costs of facilities in the nonattainment area.

Updates to the Georgia EPD Website

Monday, June 02, 2014

EPD has updated their website to more closely match the GA Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as EPD is a division of the DNR. The updates also include pages of the various branches of EPD (Air Protection, Watershed Protection, Land Protection). Currently, the Air Protection Branch's page has most all of the links that www.georgiaair.org has, so most of the information can be accessed in two places (http://epd.georgia.gov/air-protection-branch and www.georgiaair.org). You can browse EPD's new website and see the updates by clicking on the following link: http://epd.georgia.gov/.