The Effects of the 2022 Ozone Reclassification on Permitting Requirements
January 18, 2023
Facilities with air emitting sources may suddenly find themselves subject to stringent air emissions standards and permitting requirements despite not making any changes in equipment or operations. Beginning November 7, 2022, Fairfield, Middlesex and New Haven counties, and the towns of Bridgewater and New Milford in Litchfield county, were reclassified by U.S. EPA from serious ozone nonattainment to severe ozone nonattainment areas for the eight-hour 2008 Ozone Standard.
The reclassification from “serious” to “severe” will lower the thresholds for determining whether a facility meets the definition of “major source” for Nitrogen Oxides (“NOx”) or Volatile Organic Compounds (“VOC”) emissions from 50 tons per year (“tpy”) to 25 tpy. As a result, facilities with air emissions in these counties and towns will be subject to more stringent control measure requirements. In particular, sources that may not have required a Title V permit in the past may now be subject to major nonattainment area New Source Review, Title V Operating Permit and/or Reasonably Available Control Technology requirements.
Additionally, sources with multiple pieces of equipment that operate under a permit-by-rule, including those that operate under Section 22a-174-33a or Section 22a-174-33b of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, might require new or alternative compliance strategies. Also, sources currently operating under the Title V program might need additional emissions offsets or add-on control equipment.
The owner or operator of any facility with potential emissions greater than or equal to 25 tpy of NOx and/or VOC in one of the newly classified towns will be required to submit a Title V permit application or seek alternative methods of compliance no later than November 6, 2023. As the Title V permit application process can be lengthy, facilities that may be subject to the more stringent requirements should not delay in evaluating appropriate actions to take in order to meet the new rules.
If you have any questions about the 2022 Ozone Reclassification, how it might affect your facility and your compliance options, please contact Patricia L. Boye-Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Raquel Herrera-Soto at email@example.com.