Tier I Air Quality Operating Permit
Title V of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 requires states to develop programs for issuing operating permits to major stationary sources of air pollutants. The Tier I operating permit (also known as a Title V operating permit) brings together all of the applicable federal, state, and local air requirements for an air pollution source into one federally enforceable document.
DEQ is the state agency delegated responsibility by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue Tier I operating permits in Idaho. State procedures and requirements for these permits are found in the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (IDAPA 58.01.01.300-386).
Applicability: Who Needs a Tier I Permit?
A Tier I operating permit is required by the federal Clean Air Act for major sources of air pollution. Under federal regulations, major sources are facilities that emit the following:
- One hundred tons per year or more of any regulated air pollutant; or
- Ten tons per year or more of any single hazardous air pollutant (specifically listed in the Clean Air Act); or
- Twenty-five tons per year or more of a combination of hazardous air pollutants; or
- One hundred tons per year greenhouse gas emissions mass basis and 100,000 tons per year carbon dioxide equivalent basis. For major sources in existence as of July 1, 2011, applications are due by July 1, 2012, unless a synthetic minor permit has been obtained by that time.
A Tier I operating permit may be required for minor (or area) sources that are subject to the following:
- New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). NSPSs are uniform national air emission standards that limit the amount of pollution that may be emitted from stationary sources built or modified after publication of final or proposed regulations prescribing a certain standard of performance. NSPS applies to the six criteria pollutants. OR
- National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). NESHAPs are air quality standards, issued under the Clean Air Act, Section 212, that regulate 187 hazardous air pollutants from particular industrial sources. These industry-based NESHAPs are also called Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards.
Permit Application Process
Read these documents first to gain an understanding of the air quality permitting process:
- Applicant and DEQ Responsibilities
- Standard Process Pre-application Meeting Agenda
- 15-Day Process Pre-application Meeting Agenda
- Emissions Data Hierarchy Guidance
Evaluate your eligibility. Do your equipment and operations meet the requirements established in Idaho's air pollution control rules?
If your operation meets the eligibility requirements, gather information on your facility. The following information is required:
- General information about the facility, including the name of the owner and operator, a general description of the processes used and products produced by the facility where the Tier I source is located, and a general description of each process line affecting the Tier I source.
- Specific information for each emissions unit, including quantifiable emission rates; identification and quantification of all fuels, fuel use, raw materials, production rates, and operating schedules; and identification and description of all air pollution control equipment and compliance monitoring devices or activities. Additional information may be required.
- Compliance information, including a detailed description of the method(s) used for determining the compliance status of each emissions unit with each applicable requirement, with a description of any monitoring, record keeping, reporting, and test methods that were used, and a compliance plan and schedule.
Complete the application form and submit it to DEQ. Keep a copy for your records. DEQ will notify you within 60 days whether your application is complete or if more information is needed.
In most cases, within 120 days after DEQ determines that the application is complete, DEQ will prepare a draft permit or draft denial. The public will be notified of the draft permit via a notice in the local newspaper and will be given 30 days to comment. A public hearing may be held. DEQ will then consider any comments received and, within 30 days after the public comment period has ended, will prepare either a proposed permit or proposed denial. The next step in the permitting process is review of the proposed permit or denial by EPA. EPA has 45 days to review or object to the proposed permit or denial. If no objection is received from EPA, the proposed permit or denial will be issued.
Registration and Fees
The Tier I operating permit fee is comprised of a registration fee, a per-ton fee, and a fee-for-service, all of which are assessed annually. The registration fee and per-ton fee are based on the amount of emissions of the following regulated air pollutants: oxides of sulfur (SOx), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particulate matter (PM10), and volatile organic compounds (VOC). The fee-for-service is assessed for actual time expended and expenses incurred by DEQ.
Owners or operators of Tier I facilities operated during the previous calendar year or any portion of the previous calendar year are required by the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho to register annually with DEQ. Annual registration consists of supplying required facility and emission information, upon which DEQ calculates the annual registration and per-ton fee and issues a fee assessment.
Key Annual Registration Dates:
- April 1 of each year: Registration deadline
- May 15 of each year: Date by which DEQ issues fee assessments
- July 1 of each year: Fee payment deadline
Annual Registration Fee
The registration fee for Tier I operating permits is assessed according to the following schedule:
|At least 7,000 tons per year||$71,500|
|At least 4,500, but less than 7,000 tons per year||$42,900|
|At least 3,000, but less than 4,500 tons per year||$28,600|
|At least 1,000, but less than 3,000 tons per year||$22,750|
|At least 500, but less than 1,000 tons per year||$11,050|
|At least 200, but less than 500 tons per year||$7,150|
|Less than 200 tons per year||$3,575|
Annual Per-Ton Fee
The annual fee for Tier I operating permits is $39.48 per ton of regulated air pollutants. Fees are capped as follows:
|Emissions||Per-Ton Fee Cap|
|At least 4,500 tons per year||$143,000|
|At least 3,000, but less than 4,500 tons per year||$71,500|
|At least 1,000, but less than 3,000 tons per year||$35,100|
|At least 500, but less than 1,000 tons per year||$25,025|
|At least 200, but less than 500 tons per year||$10,725|
|Less than 200 tons per year||$3,575|
A fee-for-service is required when Tier I sources request a permit renewal or modification, or when they receive program maintenance services. Maintenance services include, but are not limited to, site visits, modeling, responses to public inquiries, responses to site questions, and opacity readings.
The fee-for-service is assessed for actual time expended and expenses incurred by DEQ in the previous calendar year, not to exceed $20,000 per facility per year.
Any source exempt under the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (IDAPA 59.01.01.396) may not be subject to certain Tier I operating permit fees. Certain sources may qualify for deferral from the Tier I operating permit program under the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (IDAPA 58.01.01.301) and, therefore, are not subject to Tier I fees, until such time that a Tier I application or Tier I permit is required for the source.
Under the Tier I operating permit program, facilities in Idaho are required to report to DEQ every 6 months on the status of compliance with the conditions of their permit. The purpose of the reporting requirements is to ensure compliance with permit provisions. Reports are due semiannually and annually.
Note: This is a summary of Tier I operating permit requirements and is not intended to be all-inclusive. Detailed requirements are outlined in the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (IDAPA 58.01.01.300–386).