The New Source Review (NSR) is a preconstruction permitting program serving to establish and document air pollution emission limitations from large, or “major”, sources of air pollution. NSR includes two primary permitting programs: Nonattainment NSR (NA-NSR) and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD).
NA-NSR applies in nonattainment areas, which are areas where the air quality is classified as not meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for one or more criteria pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act. NA-NSR review and permitting is intended to allow construction of new or modified sources of air pollution in these areas while still making progress toward attaining the NAAQS.
In New Hampshire, Hillsboro, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford counties are currently classified as nonattainment for ozone. Since ozone is not emitted directly from stationary sources and is instead formed by the precursor pollutants nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), NA-NSR is required for new major sources of NOx or VOC and for major sources of NOx or VOC making major modifications for those pollutants.
PSD applies in attainment areas, which are areas where the air quality is classified as meeting the NAAQS. PSD review and permitting is intended to allow construction of new or modified sources of air pollution in these areas while protecting (i.e., not significantly degrading) air quality.
The NA-NSR and/or PSD permit applies to new major sources of air pollution and existing major sources that are making a significant modification. Sources are considered “major” for NA-NSR if they have the potential to emit the following pollutants at or above any of the levels specified:
- VOCs – 50 tons per consecutive 12-month period (tpy).
- NOx – 50 tpy in New Hampshire’s 4-county ozone non-attainment region (Hillsboro, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford counties).
- NOx – 100 tpy outside of the 4-county non-attainment region.
Sources are considered major for PSD if they have the potential to emit the following pollutants at or above any of the levels specified:
- NO2, CO, SO2, PM – 100 tpy of any individual pollutant for any source listed in 40 CFR 52.21(b)(1)(i).
- NO2, CO, SO2, PM - 250 tpy of any individual pollutant for all source types not listed at 40 CFR 52.21(b)(1)(i).
- Greenhouse Gases– 100,000 tpy CO2 equivalent.
While many sources have the physical potential to emit air pollutants above the thresholds listed above, most sources accept federally enforceable permit limits (via Temporary Permits, State Permits to Operate and Title V Operating Permits) to opt-out of NA-NSR and PSD permitting.
NA-NSR and/or PSD permits also apply to existing major sources proposing modifications that will result in an increase in a pollutant at or above any of the levels specified:
- NOx or VOCs – 25 tpy of either pollutant in New Hampshire’s four -county ozone non-attainment region.
- NOx VOCs – 40 tpy of either pollutant outside of the four-county non-attainment region
- SO2– 40 tpy
- TSP – 25 tpy
- PM10 – 15 tpy
- PM2.5 – 10 tpy of direct PM2.5 emissions, 40 tpy of SO2 emissions or 40 tpy of NOx emissions unless demonstrated not be a PM2.5 precursor under 50 CFR 52(b)(50)
- CO – 100 tpy
- Lead – 0.6 tpy
- Fluorides – 3 tpy
- Sulfuric acid mist – 7 tpy
- Hydrogen sulfide – 10 tpy
- Total reduced sulfur (including hydrogen sulfide) – 10 tpy
- Greenhouse Gases– 75,000 tpy CO2 equivalent
Statute and Administrative Rules
RSA 125-C:11 Air Pollution Control/Permit Required
RSA 125-C:12 Air Pollution Control/Administrative Requirements
RSA 125-C:13 Air Pollution Control/Criteria for Denial; Suspension or Revocation; Modification
Env-A 618 Additional Requirements in Non-Attainment Areas and the New Hampshire Portion of the Northeast Ozone Transport Region and Env-A 619, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) of Air Quality Permit Requirements (Env-A 600: Statewide Permit System)
The owner or operator seeking an NSR Permit shall submit an application package containing the following data:
1) Form ARD-1 General Information for All Permit Applications.
2) Complete application form(s) for each significant source or device (Forms ARD-2 through ARD 6 as applicable).
3) A statement signed by the responsible official which states “I certify that the applicant, or the owner or operator the applicant represents, has the right, title, or interest in all of the property that is proposed for development or use because the owner or operator owns, leases, or has binding options to purchase all of the property proposed for development or use.”
4) Where air pollution dispersion modeling is required for a source or device pursuant to Env-A 606.02, Applicability, or Env-A 1405.02, Air Dispersion Modeling Analysis, a request that DES perform the modeling and the information required pursuant to Env-A 606.03, Responsibility for Conducting Air Pollution Dispersion Modeling Impact Analysis (Air Quality Modeling Program) and or, if the source elects to perform the modeling, a modeling protocol and subsequent modeling.
5) For a source with air pollution control equipment as defined in Env-A 101.17, an air pollution control equipment monitoring plan or catalyst management plan pursuant to Env-A 810.01, Monitoring Plans for Air Pollution Control Equipment, (Env-A 800 Testing and Monitoring Procedures).
6) If a plan is not required pursuant to Env-A 810.01, a description of the monitoring the source intends to conduct to demonstrate compliance with all applicable state and federal statutes, rules, and permits, as specified in Env-A 810.02.
7) A Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER) analysis for applicable NA-NSR pollutants and a Best Achievable Control Technology (BACT) analysis for applicable PSS-NSR pollutants.
8) Other project-specific analyses that depend upon the size, type, emission profile, and location of the project, e.g., visibility analyses, site-specific baseline air quality monitoring, soil deposition analyses, etc.
The application review fee is based upon the time required for DES staff to review the application according to Env-A 703, Permit Review Fees (Env-A 700: Permit Fee System) Source is also subject to emission-based fees and applicable testing and monitoring fees. (see Required Air Permit Fees)
Typically process NSR applications within six to nine months of receiving a complete application.
An NSR Permit is valid for 18 months. The source must submit an application to DES Air Resources Division for an operating permit (if construction & testing is complete) or a request for reissuance 90 days prior to permit expiration.
The applicant must provide DES Air Resources Division a written request to modify an existing permit as described in Env-A 600: Statewide Permit System (see Env-A 612.01 Administrative Permit Amendments, Env-A 612.05, Minor Modifications: Title V Operating Permits, or Env-A 612.06, Significant Permit Modifications: Title V Operating Permits) and Env-A 100: Organizational Rules (see definitions in Env-A 101.08 Administrative permit amendment and 101.118 Minor permit modification).
Thirty days after any change of the owner or operator, the new owner or operator must provide DES Air Resources Division with the following:
1) An ARD-1 Form with the following two sections completed: Section I. FACILITY INFORMATION A through H, and Section IV. CERTIFICATION.
2) A statement signed by the responsible official which states “I certify that the applicant, or the owner or operator the applicant represents, has the right, title, or interest in all of the property that is proposed for development or use because the owner or operator owns, leases, or has binding options to purchase all of the property proposed for development or use.”
3) A written agreement pursuant to Env-A 101.08: Administrative Permit Amendment containing a specific date for transfer of permit responsibility, coverage and liability, including report submittal and payment of annual emission fees.
Once these submittals are received, DES Air Resources Division will process an Administrative Amendment according to Env-A 612.01: Administrative Permit Amendments and issue the amended permit in the new owner’s name.
Any person aggrieved by the final decision may file an appeal to Air Resources Council within 10 days of the final decision in accordance with Env-AC 200.
Status of Current Applications
Air Stationary Sources Search
While not required, due to the complexity and case-specific nature of major NSR permitting, a pre-application meeting prior to the submission of an application is strongly recommended. Contact Todd A. Moore at [email protected] or (603) 271-6798.
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