On August 07, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) published a proposed new rulemaking 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 has proposed some significant changes that are expected to affect both major and minor facilities in New Jersey.

Reporting Thresholds for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

The NJDEP is proposing to lower the reporting thresholds for 106 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 the air permit. Further, such a facility is also required to conduct toxic health 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 proposed 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 will not be immediately impacted by this rule. These facilities will need to evaluate HAPs based on the proposed 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 effective 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. It is not clear based on the proposed rule language whether only the emission unit(s) being modified would be subject to health risk evaluation or if the Department would require facilities to do a facility-wide assessment as part of the modification.

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 after the effective date of this regulation.

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 proposed rulemaking.

Resiliency and Exemptions

The NJDEP is extending some exemptions under the proposed 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), and
  • Other small emitters such as rental facilities, portable shredders, conveyance/baling of source separated materials etc.

The proposed 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 changes.

The proposed changes related to lowering the HAP reporting thresholds can impact your facility both in the near-term and in future. We are following this proposed rule closely as it goes through public comment (that ended October 6, 2017), specifically for any changes in the rule language or any Department clarifications before rule finalization (expected December 2017). Trinity has recently hosted a series of complimentary luncheons to go over the details of the rule from proposal stages last September 22, to the final rule on this past February 22nd. Each event was well-attended by facility managers looking for guidance on the rule. If you have any questions related to this proposed rule, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Trupin or Sundar Sadashivam in Trinity's Princeton office at (609) 375-2665.