On January 16, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) adopted new rulemaking (originally proposed on August 7, 2017) in the NJ register titled, “Air Pollution Control: Air Emission Control and Permitting Exemptions, HAP Reporting Thresholds, and CAIR NOx Trading Program and NOx Budget Trading Program”. This rule change includes several significant changes that are expected to affect both major and minor facilities in New Jersey. The operative date for these rules and amendments is February 12, 2018.

Reporting Thresholds for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

The Department is lowering the reporting thresholds for 106 Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), and several HAPs will see more than an order of magnitude reduction of the reporting thresholds from the current levels. A facility that has the potential to emit (PTE) any HAP above the reporting thresholds is required to include that HAP in their air permit. Further, such a facility is also required to conduct risk screening (or refined dispersion modeling if an initial risk screening fails) to demonstrate negligible health risk from the HAPs being reported. Based on the new reporting thresholds, HAPs that were previously not required to be included in your facility's air permit(s) might now have to be addressed within the permit(s). 

Minor or synthetic minor facilities (PCPs) not making any permit modifications might not be immediately impacted by this rule. These facilities will need to evaluate HAPs based on the new reporting thresholds if they modify their air permit after the effective date of this regulation. Major facilities (Title Vs) not making any modifications to their permit will need to evaluate HAPs based on the new thresholds as part of their Title V Renewal if the expiration date on the current permit is after three (3) years from the operative date of this regulation (or in a subsequent renewal). Major facilities making permit modifications will need to address the new thresholds for HAPs at the time of the modification application for the sources being modified/added. 

Several insignificant activities (such as low VOC storage tanks, blenders, mixers etc.) have a stipulation that they cannot have the PTE of any HAPs above the corresponding reporting thresholds. Based on the reduction in the reporting thresholds for most HAPs under this new rule, you will need to re-evaluate whether your current insignificant sources will continue to qualify as insignificant sources. For minor facilities, this may mean permitting those previously unpermitted sources. For major facilities, this may mean reclassifying a previously insignificant source to a significant source within the Title V permit.  

Further, facilities subject to the Annual Emission Statement (AES) reporting will need to include any HAPs that are above the new reporting thresholds in their emission statements. The Department has clarified that calendar year 2017 AES (due in May 2018) can still use the old reporting thresholds; subsequent AES will need to be evaluated using the new reporting thresholds. 

The NJDEP is raising the reporting thresholds for 15 HAPs and keeping the reporting thresholds for 48 HAPs unchanged. The state of the art (SOTA) thresholds are not impacted by this rulemaking. 

Resiliency and Exemptions

The NJDEP is extending some exemptions under this rule for specific activities such as:

  • Temporary use of portable equipment for Emergency Management (natural or man-made disasters),
  • Portable equipment used for temporary Construction, Repair, and Maintenance activities onsite (including allowance of site's emergency generators for this purpose for up to 30 days/year in addition to the permitted hours for testing & maintenance), and
  • Other small emitters such as rental facilities, portable shredders, conveyance/baling of source separated materials etc. 

The rule also includes other changes related to the use of fuel oil during natural gas curtailment, construction engines, annual boiler combustion adjustment, and several other administrative change.s 

Conclusion

These changes, especially the new reporting thresholds, can have some significant impacts to your facility, both in the short term and the long run. Risk screening, and more importantly, refined risk modeling is going to become a reality for most major applications/modifications and many minor facilities. 

Trinity hosted a complimentary luncheon to go over the details of the proposed version of the rule on September 22, 2017.  We will be hosting another event to discuss the final rule - so kindly stay tuned! This event will include a discussion on the differences between the proposed & final versions of the rules and a discussion on the clarifications provided by the Department in response to the comments received by them during the public comment period. Meanwhile, if you have any questions related to this rule, please do not hesitate to contact the Trinity's Princeton office at 609-375-2665 or via email at mtrupin@trinityconsultants.com or ssadashivam@trinityconsultants.com