Amendments to Air Quality Rules - Exempt source/conditionally insignificant activities

The MPCA is planning amendments to rules governing air quality, Minnesota Rules chapters 7002, 7005, 7007, 7008, 7009, 7011, 7017, and 7019. The Request for Comments on this rulemaking was published in the State Register on January 9, 2017. A copy of the notice and comments received are available below under rulemaking documents. Formal public comments will be accepted when the proposed rules are published in the State Register.

Comments submitted in the rulemaking process provide valuable input in the development of draft rules. Though the Request for Comment public notice period has ended, the MPCA encourages continued comment and input related to this rulemaking to help inform the MPCA about making rule revisions. Written comments may be submitted to the staff contact person identified below.


PDF icon Request for Comments - January 9, 2017 (aq-rule4-08a)

PDF icon Proposed concepts for amending Air Quality rules (aq-rule4-08b)

File includes presentation for the January 19 stakeholder meeting and comments received in response to the Request for Comments.

HTML icon Recorded Webcast for stakeholder meeting (January 19)

The main focus of this rulemaking is to clarify how small air pollution emitting activities at a facility are addressed in permits. The activities are described as “insignificant activities” and “conditionally insignificant activities” in the rules. The MPCA is also considering to exempt more categories of low-emitting facilities, such as auto body refinishing shops, from permitting that meet eligibility criteria.

This rulemaking is needed to address several issues with the requirements for conditionally exempt stationary sources and conditionally insignificant activities (CIA), and to meet federal requirements for affected sources. Historically, the MPCA created an air emission permit hierarchy to incentivize the small source facilities, such as auto body refinishing shops, to reduce their air emissions through more streamlined compliance requirements for low air emissions. The planned rule amendments will continue to streamline the administrative requirements for the lower emitting small source facilities while complying with applicable state and federal requirements. The main benefit of the rule amendments will be administrative, but they will also ensure that the rules limiting air emissions are federally enforceable.

A key issue with the chapter 7008 rules for conditionally exempt stationary sources and CIA is that they are being used for two different purposes with distinctly different affected sources. Both uses are important and valid. However, changes to make the rule federally enforceable create problems for the other use. The two purposes of the CIA requirements in chapter 7008 are to:

  • Exempt very low emitting small sources with only CIA and insignificant activities from permitting; and
  • Allow sources that require an air emission permit to streamline their permit application by listing these CIA in the permit application; without providing the additional information that is required for sources treated as an emissions unit.

The MPCA proposes to amend chapter 7008 so that the CIA requirements are federally enforceable 1) for the affected, smaller sources that are relying on them to not require an air emission permit under existing chapter 7007 permit rules, and 2) for the larger sources that use the CIA to simplify their permit application and for changes that qualify as an insignificant modification.

Additional minor amendments to other air related rules including chapters 7002, 7005, 7007, 7008, 7009, 7011, 7017, and 7019 that fall within the scope of this rulemaking will be identified and considered during the rulemaking process.



Publish Request for Comments

January 9, 2017

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder meeting on proposed concepts for amending the rules January 19, 2017

Publish Dual Notice of proposed rules

Summer 2017

Final adoption of rules:

  • no hearing
  • with a hearing

Approximate time:

  • 3 months after Dual Notice
  • 6 months after Dual Notice



For questions about rule content or technical aspects of the rule:

Hassan Bouchareb

For questions about the rule process or how to submit comments:

Mary H. Lynn