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NJDEP Updates Air Regulations

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) published updates to several subchapters of the air pollution regulations on January 16, 2018. The updates apply to minor source operations, major source operations, VOC operations, NOx operations, and emission statements. These updates were not considered to be major; however, there is one change that has the potential to be useful for many facilities in New Jersey.

Update 1: NJDEP has changed its definition of emergency generators (EG) within 7:27-16.1 and 7:27-19.1, to allow for operations during power disruptions resulting from construction, repair, or maintenance (CRM) activities for up to thirty-(30)-days per calendar year. This does not include operations during performance of normal testing and maintenance. Note that the standard 100-hour limit for testing and maintenance activities does not apply to the CRM activities. This change will be only beneficial to facilities where CRM affects their electrical systems and some functions need to remain active including site security operations, refrigeration systems, and other safety related equipment.

Update 2: During CRM activities both subchapters for minor and major source operations have been updated to exclude from permitting equipment that is used to temporarily replace fuel burning equipment in excess of 1 mmBtu/hour or 37 kW/hours.

Additionally, the facility must submit certain information electronically prior to commencing operation of this temporary equipment and follow up with additional information within 30 days of the cessation of its operations. The temporary equipment must be portable, on site less than 90 days, have no emissions above state of the art thresholds, must be located in Subchapters 8, 19 and 22. All electronic notifications must be provided to the appropriate regional compliance and enforcement office as specified. Based upon NJDEP’s regulatory summary, this exemption has been added to the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) as a result of the issues that facilities experienced after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Update 3: NJDEP has also updated the air toxic thresholds found in Subchapter 19 to reflect more current science than was previously available. This update will affect permit applications for new and modified equipment for minor sources as well as operating permit renewal applications for major sources and can potentially affected all facilities required to submit an emission statement

Also potentially affected are all facilities required to submit an emission statement for 2017. Due to the rules’ publication in January 2018 potentially affecting 2017 emission statements, a new table has been added in 7:27-21.3 as Table 2 containing the previous thresholds.

NJDEP recognized that facilities might not have had the necessary data from 2017 to be able to apply the new thresholds to the emission statement due on May 15th, 2018. For emission statement submissions beginning with the 2018 calendar year, the new thresholds must be evaluated to determine if a facility must report its emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Most hazardous air pollutants’ reporting threshold either remained the same or decreased, although a few chemicals were actually increased. Most reporting thresholds are now at the 2,000 pound/year level which is consistent with other department programs.

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