Air Permit Like it’s 1996! (Or is it Time for an Update?)

Posted on August 24th, 2021

Smokestacks with smoke

In June 2021, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued a Compliance Advisory Enforcement Alert (#2021-08, issued: June 30, 2021). This Compliance Advisory is applicable to all facilities located in New Jersey that currently operating equipment under a Preconstruction Permit (PCP) with a permit number that begins with either PCP96 or PCP97. If your facility obtained an approved PCP in 1997 or earlier, then your facility is likely operating under a PCP96 or PCP97 permit.

The Compliance Advisory was issued to encourage facilities to conduct a review of their older air permits and to evaluate their current permitting options. There are three (3) main reasons why it is beneficial to evaluate whether an older air permit should be modified, updated, or even terminated:

  1. Cost Savings: There are two (2) NJDEP permitting options for Minor Facilities: a General Permit (a pre-approved permit and certificate which applies to a specific class of significant sources) and a PCP (a Case-by-Case permit which requires review by NJDEP prior to approval). If there is a General Permit that applies to your equipment, your facility could benefit from significant cost savings when it comes to permit renewal fees.
  2. Updated Equipment and Raw Materials: There may be equipment at your facility that is no longer active or has been replaced. Permits are not transferable from one piece of equipment to another. Therefore, if a piece of equipment has been removed or decommissioned, the facility may be paying for a permit that was approved for equipment which no longer exists. Along those same lines, if a piece of equipment has been replaced and the permit has not been modified, then the facility may be operating equipment that is considered unpermitted and non-compliant.
  3. Updated Compliance Requirements: Older permits may not include all Federal and State regulations promulgated since issuance. Even though older permits do not reference these regulations, facilities are still expected and required to comply with all of the requirements. Updating your air permit will ensure that all current applicable regulations are clearly and concisely stated in the permit requirements.

The NJDEP has stated that more compliance and enforcement inspections are coming, so it is important for facilities to review their older air permits as soon as possible to avoid violations or enforcement actions, which may include penalty fines.

If your facility has an active PCP96 or PCP97 permit and you need guidance in evaluating your current air permitting options, feel free to give us a call at (908) 218-0066. We can help navigate you through the permit review and application process applicable to your facility.

Courtney Palmisano
Project Manager

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