Frequent Questions

How does the public benefit from NESHAP permits?

Air permits contain provisions requiring sources to comply with applicable pollutant emission limitations. The permits can also require sources to operate pollution control equipment in a manner that assures compliance with these emission limitations, and to report time periods when these emission limitations are not achieved. The primary benefit to the public is that air permits limit the emission of air pollutants from a stationary source.
 
For pre-construction permits, also known as New Source Review (NSR) permits, federal law does not allow a source owner/operator to construct or modify a major stationary source unless they can demonstrate that the project will not cause or contribute to a violation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Furthermore, source owner/operators are required to provide the public notice of their proposed construction. Note that a "major" source is defined differently under NSR (see 40 CFR 51.166(b)(1)(i)) than under Title 5 (see 40 CFR 63.2).
 
For operating permits, also known as Title 5 permits, a major source owner/operator is required to compile all applicable air pollution requirements at their source (e.g., existing permit conditions, State Implementation Plan requirements and NSR requirements) for purposes of obtaining one comprehensive permit, the Title 5 permit. An area source owner/operator may also be required to obtain a Title 5 permit, as is the case with the Phase 1 HWC NESHAP. See 40 CFR §§63.1(c)(2), 70.3 (a) and (b) and 71.3(a) and (b). The Title 5 application and permit requirements for area sources are less inclusive. Your Title 5 permit application, as well as your Title 5 permit, is only required to address the emissions unit(s) which caused your source to be subject to Title 5. The application and permit however, must include all of the applicable requirements that apply to the triggering units (e.g., State Implementation Plan requirements). The Title 5 permit process provides several opportunities for public participation during permit issuance, reopening, renewal, and significant modifications. Note that a "major" source is defined differently under Title 5 (see 40 CFR 63.2) than under NSR (see 40 CFR 51.166(b)(1)(i)). 

RCRA permits are designed to protect human health and the environment by ensuring that all wastes are managed safely. To ensure protectiveness, RCRA permits address facility-wide issues such as corrective action, general facility standards, and unit specific requirements for hazardous waste combustors (HWCs) and other types of hazardous waste management units at the facility. Furthermore, construction of a new hazardous waste management unit cannot begin until a final approved RCRA permit is issued for the unit (see 40 CFR 270.10(f)). Prior to the Phase 1 HWC NESHAP, the combustor-specific portion of RCRA permits set emission standards and operating requirements. Specifically, RCRA permits for HWC facilities set the operating requirements that specify the allowable ranges for critical parameters to ensure compliance with national risk-based emission standards. Compliance with those operating parameters, and thus with the emission standards, is then verified through continuous monitoring required by the RCRA permit. As a result of the Phase 1 HWC NESHAP, the operating requirements and performance standards in the RCRA permits are generally superseded by the technology-based MACT standards and are being placed into Title 5 permits. Regardless of the placement of emission standards and operating requirements for HWCs into Title 5 permits, RCRA permits will still ensure that hazardous wastes are managed properly by addressing: general facility standards, corrective action, other combustor-specific concerns such as materials handling, any risk-based emissions limits and operating requirements as appropriate, and regulation of other hazardous management units at the facility.

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