Archive of federal air permit requirements for greenhouse gases

The MPCA modified its air permit rules to incorporate federal permit requirements for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The effective date of this new rule is January 24, 2013.

The MPCA also adopted the EPA’s temporary deferral of biogenic carbon dioxide in emissions calculations for air permits,  additional recent federal air permit rules governing stationary spark ignition engines and clarified that both owners and operators must jointly apply for and operate under air permits.

What are the federal GHG requirements?

On May 13, 2010, the EPA issued a final rule to establish permit thresholds for GHG emissions. This rule affects two permit programs: 1) the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program for construction permits; and 2) the Part 70 operating permit program, also called the Title V program.

The emissions threshold for GHGs is a potential to emit (PTE) of 100,000 tons per year (tpy) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). PSD modifications have a “significance level” of 75,000 CO2-e. The significance level under the PSD rules is the amount of pollution above which a facility has to do additional analyses such as Best Available Control Technology determination and air emission modeling.

This rule defines GHGs as an aggregate group of 6 gases. These are:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Methane
  • Hydrofluorocarbons
  • Perfluorocarbons
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride

Starting January 2, 2011, GHG permit requirements applied to new or modifying PSD and Part 70 sources if they had GHG emissions above the thresholds. The permit rules applied to all facilities with emissions above the thresholds starting July 1, 2011. See the “Related Materials” section of this page for links to information about calculating emissions.

What has Minnesota done to implement the federal rule?

Minnesota is a delegated state for the PSD program. This means that the new federal PSD permit requirement is effective here immediately. No rule changes are needed to begin incorporating GHGs into PSD permits.

However, Minnesota’s Part 70 permit rule refers to the Clean Air Act for applicability. The previous rule also listed the permit threshold as 100 tpy. That rule language was revised to conform with the threshold in the federal rule. Additionally, requirements for registration permits, capped permits and insignificant activities were modified to ensure that facilities are permitted appropriately under the new federal requirements.

The sections amended were Minn. Rules chapters 7005 (Definitions and Abbreviations), 7007 (Air Permitting) and 7011 (Standards for Stationary Sources).

Permanent rules

Hearing related documents

Rule contacts

Exempt rulemaking process

The MPCA used the exempt rulemaking process under Minn Stat 14.388 to implement GHG permitting on a temporary basis. The statute allows an expedited process if agencies need to comply with a requirement in federal law. The exempt rulemaking became effective on January 24, 2011 and expired January 23, 2013.

Final exempt (temporary) rule documents

PLEASE NOTE: A compliance date was changed in the adopted exempt (temporary) rule. The MPCA agreed with comments received and revised 7007.0150 subpart 1, E (lines 5.17 - 5.19) as follows:

  • By July 1, 2011, an owner or operator holding any existing Part 70 or state facility permit must calculate whether the facility’s potential to emit greenhouse gases meets or exceed the permit threshold for greenhouse gases in Part 7007.0200, subpart 2.

Draft exempt (temporary) rule documents

Outreach to permit holders