Your facility can be subject to the Title V Program if it exceeds any of the pollutant thresholds mentioned in our previous post. Over the years, we at Envera have seen many different problems related to Title V applicability, the most common being that the facility simply didn’t know it was subject to Title V. Trust me when I say this is one of those times when ignorance is not bliss.
When it comes to Title V applicability, these are the most common problems we’ve come across — and how to avoid them.
1. Inaccurate Emissions Inventory
A facility can get inadvertently pulled into the Title V program if it submits an emissions inventory with errors that result in the actual emissions being more than the major source threshold. Such over-reporting can cause your facility to become subject to Title V — without your knowing.
Solution: To avoid this, be sure to check — and double check, and triple check — your calculations to ensure you don’t mistakenly exceed a major source threshold on your report.
2. Ignorance of the Threshold
Even if your calculations are correct and you do exceed the major source threshold, you probably won’t be in hot water — but only if you file your Title V permit application in a timely manner. Unfortunately, some facilities aren’t even aware of the threshold and so miss the deadline — or fail to file altogether.
Solution: You need to be aware that if your facility exceeds any of the major source thresholds, then you must submit an initial Title V application in a “timely manner.” Appoint a staff member to stay on top of regulations and make sure they have access to the facility’s most recent data.
3. Production Increases
Your facility might not currently be subject to Title V, but that might not always be the case. That’s because one criterion for inclusion in the Title V Program is actual emissions. If your emissions increase, you could suddenly fall within the purview of Title V compliance. We often see this situation when there’s a production increase, additional equipment is purchased, or when there are significant changes to an existing process
Solution: Don’t increase production or purchase new equipment. Kidding! Such situations are common for facilities, so just make sure that you’re aware of the thresholds (see bullet #2 above) and that you’re able to handle any new regulations that your facility now falls under, as well as afford any changes associated with them. If you can’t, then you might have to step down on production or leave the current equipment as is.
4. Missing the Deadline
In our last post, I outlined the five criteria that can cause a facility to become subject to Title V. Once you learn that you meet one of these criteria, you need to submit an initial Title V application in a timely manner. However, “timely manner” can mean one of two things. If the SCAQMD has already notified you that you must now comply with Title V, you have 90 days to submit a permit application from the time you were notified. (The deadline is usually in the notification letter you receive.) If you have not been notified by the SCAQMD, then you have 180 days from the time your facility became subject to Title V. If not, you’ll likely get a notice of violation (NOV), or at the very least, a notice to comply (NTC).
Solution: Stop procrastinating and get that permit in!
5. Amendments to NSPS or NESHAP
Your applicability status can also change if a New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) or National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulation is amended and — surprise! — your facility is now required to have a Title V permit. And considering the rate at which regulations change, your applicability can change without warning. And, no, you will not receive a notice from an agency telling you that your status has changed. The responsibility is all on you.
Solution: Make sure someone at your facility is in charge of tracking rule amendments and emission increases to monitor your facility’s applicability to Title V. (We also think that subscribing to our newsletter is the most efficient way of staying on top of regulatory news. But we might be a tad biased.)