In 2011, the 82nd Legislative Session postponed reporting for planned maintenance, start-up, and shutdown (MSS) activities for specific Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes in the Oil and Gas Industry. The extended deadline is the earlier of January 5, 2014 or the 120th day after the effective date of a new or amended Permit by Rule (PBR) or Standard Permit.
The following SIC codes are included in the postponed deadline:
- SIC 1311 Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas
- SIC 1321 Natural Gas Liquids
- SIC 4612 Crude Petroleum Pipelines
- SIC 4613 Refined Petroleum Pipelines
- SIC 4922 Natural Gas Transmission
- SIC 4923 Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution
Planned MSS activities are one of the four categories of emissions recognized in Texas. There are Normal Operations, which include batch or steady state operations and alternate operating scenarios. Emissions from normal operations have been historically regulated in the oil and gas industry in Texas. Planned MSS activities are those that are expected and planned for and are due to routine maintenance, planned operational shutdowns, and other usual occurrences that are predictable and anticipated. Emissions from planned MSS have not been required to be permitted in the past, but they will now be required to be authorized for all operations in Texas. Scheduled MSS is a category of emissions that occur due to an unexpected malfunction or event, but a scheduled solution is performed to accommodate the event. The final category of emissions is Emission Events. Emission Events occur under unexpected circumstances when a solution cannot be scheduled. These types of events are upsets or accidents where the plant or site is not prepared for or expecting any type of problem.
According to the Texas legislature, Normal Operations and Planned MSS for the Oil and Gas Industry will now require authorization beginning January 5, 2014 or the 120th day after a new or amended PBR (whichever is earlier). The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has indicated that a new PBR will be available for public viewing the beginning of February 2013 and is expected to take effect in July.
In order to meet the deadline set forth by TCEQ, below is a simplified step-by-step approach that any operation can use to determine how to authorize Planned MSS emissions:
- Identify and define all MSS activities
- Determine if MSS activity qualifies as Planned MSS
- Quantify Planned MSS emissions
- Evaluate authorization options
- As it applies to the authorization mechanism, address BACT, modeling, and public notice requirements
- Reevaluate Federal and State permitting and regulatory applicability
- Create a system to identify, categorize, and track Planned MSS for continual compliance moving forward
If you have questions on the impacts of permitting MSS for Oil and Gas operations in Texas, please contact Trinity’s Dallas Office at (972) 661-8100.