TCEQ Staffing Changes
TCEQ announced staffing changes within the organization, which were effective September 1, 2019. Sam Short is the new Air Permits Division Director, and Beryl Thatcher serves as Assistant Division Director over the NSR sections. Steven Hagood is the new Technical Advisor for the Office of Air. Finally, Mike Wilson, P.E. is leading the Grants Division within the Office of Air, which administers the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP), as well as the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program.

PBR Checklist Updates
TCEQ released updates to two different Permit by Rule (PBR) checklists on August 30, 2019 with new language regarding annual emission increases:

The updates include TCEQ's addition of the following question to both the checklists, with a footnote:
Does this project represent a physical or operational change to an NSR permitted facility in which the result of the project is an increase in only annual emissions with no impact to the currently authorized hourly emission rate?

The footnote specifies conditions for authorizing changes to a facility with an increase in annual emissions only via PBRs 106.261 and 106.262:

  • Hourly emission rates do not exceed currently permitted emission rates
  • No changes to underlying BACT or health and environmental impacts
  • Does not circumvent major new source review requirements (i.e., PSD and NNSR)
  • Claims must be certified via PI-7 CERT

While this applies to cases where annual throughput of tanks, or other operations, are increased without modifying an hourly emission rate, it is not clear how other changes that result in either hourly or both hourly and annual increase in emissions would be authorized, which could potentially have used these PBRs historically if all conditions were met. For example, replacement of a pump with a higher hourly fill rate, or the addition of a new compound, that may result in an increase in total volatile organic compounds (VOC) authorized under a New Source Review (NSR) permit, would result in an increase in hourly emissions. As the footnote is interpreted, these changes may no longer qualify for PBR authorization.

Trinity has contacted TCEQ to seek further clarification for scenarios such as these. Stay tuned for additional information on this update.

New Version of the PI-1 Coming Soon!

As verbally relayed by TCEQ, due to the redesignation of the DFW and HGB ozone nonattainment areas to serious as of September 23, 2019, TCEQ is expected to release version 4.0 of the PI-1 workbook on the same date and must be used for any project submitted after that date. If you are working on a project utilizing any iteration of the Version 3 PI-1 workbook, please refer to TCEQ's website for an updated version.