On August 23, 2016, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) proposed to the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) rules to allow construction of small boilers under a "permit by rule."  The permit by rule would eliminate the need to individually grant construction permits for the covered boilers.  Additionally, the Illinois EPA also proposed general provisions for permits by rule, which if adopted, would apply to future proposed permits by rule for other types of emission units.

Under the proposed general provision, an applicant may obtain a permit by rule for a new or modified emission unit if the unit is located at an existing source authorized to operate under the Clean Air Act Permit Program (CAAPP), a permit by rule has been adopted by the board for the specified emission unit (e.g., small boiler), and the emission unit does not otherwise trigger permitting requirements.

In the Illinois EPA's proposal the eligible types of boilers for the permit by rule included:

  • Boilers with a maximum design heat input capacity less than or equal to 50 MMBtu/hr or less than or equal to 100 MMBtu/hr and use low Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) burners;
  • Primarily burn pipeline natural gas, butane, propane or refinery fuel gas;
  • Use only certain types of diesel, butane, or propane as back-up fuel; and
  • Emit only fuel combustion products.

The proposed rule can be found on the IPCB website.  A hearing is scheduled for October 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM as a video conference between the IPCB and Illinois EPA.  Details on this rulemaking and hearing can be found on the IPCB website for this rulemaking.