EPA Approves WV SIP Revision

EPA recently approved (on July 21, 2014) the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of West Virginia in 2009 after the West Virginia legislature adopted revisions to rule 45CSR13 (Minor Sources) in 2008 to “shorten the time period by which permits for construction and operation may be issued for sources subject to minor NSR rules; to allow, in certain instances, construction prior to obtaining a permit; and to allow equipment and materials to be delivered and stored onsite prior to minor NSR permit issuance.”  (Please note 45CSR13 has not been modified since its implementation in 2009).

Summary of SIP Revision

The July 20, 2009 SIP revision will (a) reduce the time allotted for West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to process minor NSR permits from 180 days to 90 days after a permit application is deemed complete, (b) reduce the time for WVDEP to process temporary minor NSR permits from 60 days to 45 days after a complete application is received, and (c) reduce the time for WVDEP to process Class II general permits from 90 days to 45 days after a general permit registration application is deemed complete. The SIP revision also creates a mechanism for the following types of sources to commence construction prior to obtaining a permit, provided that operation does not commence until a permit is issued: New and modified stationary sources which are not major sources, major stationary sources proposing non-major modifications, and sources subject to general permits. Sources of hazardous air pollutants subject to CAA subsections 112(g) or 112(j), sources seeking ‘‘synthetic minor’’ permits to avoid otherwise applicable standards, and sources requiring specific case-by-case emission limits under 45CSR21 or 45CSR27 are ineligible for permission to commence construction in advance of permit issuance. Additionally, the SIP revision allows equipment and materials to be delivered and stored onsite prior to permit issuance and includes other minor clarifying changes to West Virginia’s minor NSR rule.  If WVDEP determines that any proposed construction,  modification, registration or relocation interferes with attainment or maintenance of an applicable ambient air quality standard, causes or contributes to a violation of an applicable air quality increment, or is inconsistent with the intent and purpose of 45CSR13, WVDEP shall issue an order denying the proposed activity.  No permission to commence construction in advance of permit issuance is allowed if WVDEP deems it is inconsistent with any Federal requirement, Federal delegation, Federally approved requirement in any SIP, or Federally approved  requirement under the title V permitting program.   Other specific requirements of the regulations and the rationale for EPA’s proposed action are explained in the NPR and will not be restated here. No public comments were received on the NPR.

See, 79 Fed. Reg. 42212 (July 21, 2014), available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-21/pdf/2014-16409.pdf

Laura Goldfarb helps clients resolve their environmental policy, regulation, and enforcement problems. Prior to joining Steptoe & Johnson, Ms. Goldfarb was Assistant Counsel at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, where she represented the agency in a variety of matters relating to the state's environmental programs, and drafted regulatory and statutory environmental provisions for the State of West Virginia.
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