Greenhouse gas and state or Part 70 permits

As a facility with an air emissions permit, federal and state rule changes regulating greenhouse gases (GHGs) directly affect your facility. The main changes that may affect you are as follows.

  • GHGs are regulated pollutants for determining whether or not you need an air permit;
  • Some insignificant activities are revised and your current ones may no longer qualify as insignificant; and
  • You are required to calculate GHG emissions and take action as described below (see changes to Minn. R. 7007.0150).

Potential to emit and operating permit status

Regardless of any pending permit applications, you must calculate your current potential to emit (PTE) GHG by July 1, 2011. Take into account any currently-enforceable restrictions on your facility (Minn. R. 7007.0150, subp. 1(E)). If you determine that your GHG PTE is less than 100,000 tons per year (tpy) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), you must keep records of the calculation until July 1, 2016.

If you have a State Permit: If your GHG PTE is equal to or greater than 100,000 tpy CO2e, you need to either apply for a Part 70 operating permit or request revisions to your state operating permit. Submit a new application no later than June 30, 2012.

If you have a Part 70 Permit: If your GHG PTE is equal to or greater than 100,000 tpy CO2e, you must notify the MPCA by June 30, 2011 of this determination. Send this notification to:

Air Quality Compliance Tracking Coordinator
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road North
St Paul, MN 55155

If you are permitted as a minor source under New Source Review (NSR) (can be either a State or Part 70 Permit): If your GHG PTE is equal to or greater than 100,000 tpy CO2e, and you wish to remain a minor source under NSR for future changes, submit either an application for a major amendment to your permit to establish limits to avoid being major for GHGs or apply for a different minor source permit such as a Capped Permit. Submit a new application no later than June 30, 2012.

Until such time as that amendment/permit is issued, your facility will be considered an existing major source under Part 70. In addition, with any change that you propose to make to your facility, you will need to determine if you are an existing major source for NSR by determining if your GHG emissions are subject to regulation. If your GHGs are subject to regulation, modifications to your facility must be analyzed based on your facility being major for NSR (e.g., using form CH-04a, not CH-04b).

Pending modifications

Starting July 1, 2011: If your current permit authorizes any modifications or is in some way a flexible permit with limits to avoid NSR (e.g., PreCap, FlexCap, etc.), and you did not begin actual construction of the modification prior to July 1, 2011, then you cannot begin actual construction of the modification until you calculate the GHG PTE of your facility and the emissions of GHGs as required by 40 CFR 52.21 for the proposed modification. See revised Minn. R. 7007.0150, subp. 1(B), (C) and (E) for information on the types of analyses, deadlines for action, and record retention requirements.

Insignificant activities

Several insignificant activities in Minn. R. 7007.1300 were revised slightly under this rule. You must determine if any equipment or processes which were insignificant in your prior permit or permit applications no longer qualify under the revised rules. If this is the case, you need to submit a minor amendment application to the MPCA to incorporate the equipment into your permit. The activities that have changed are: subp. 2(A)(3) and 2(G)(1); subp. 3(A), (B)(2), and 3(I); subp. 4.

Pending applications

Some facilities have submitted air permit application to the MPCA where those applications are still pending (i.e., the permit or amendment has not yet been issued). If you have an application pending with the MPCA, and based on your calculations described above, you determine that changes are needed to your pending application (e.g., you are now major so the citations used for proposed limits are incorrect, you need additional limits or recordkeeping for GHGs, etc.), you have a duty to supplement that pending application as detailed in Minn. R. 7007.0600, subp. 2.

Applications submitted 1/2/11 or later

GHG is now a regulated air pollutant as defined in Minn. R. 7007.0100, subp. 19 and it must be addressed in any permit application as required by Minn. R. 7007.0500. You will need to include information regarding GHG same as any other regulated air pollutant.

For more information

All permit application forms are available on the Air Permit Forms page. The MPCA also has a webpage that provides information about calculating GHG emissions.

If you have questions about the status of the MPCA’s rulemaking process, please see the MPCA’s rulemaking webpage for the appropriate rule contact. If you have any questions about GHGs and are currently working on a pending air permit with the MPCA, contact your assigned permit staff. Otherwise, direct questions regarding NSR issues to Dick Cordes, 651-757-2291, or richard.cordes@state.mn.us, and all remaining questions regarding GHGs to Peggy Bartz, 651-757-2213, or margaret.bartz@state.mn.us.