If a proposed change involves changing an existing emissions unit, the emissions increase for the existing unit can be determined by comparing Baseline Actual Emissions to projected actual emissions. The applicant must make a projection of post-change annual emissions during the five or10 years following the change (depending on if the change increases the capacity of the existing emissions unit).
This applicability test applies only to changes at existing emissions units. It does not apply to construction of new emissions units. If a proposed change involves construction of new emission units, the emissions increase must be determined by comparing baseline actual emissions to future potential emissions. The full definition of “projected actual emissions” can be found at 40 CFR 52.21(b)(41).
Projected actual emissions may exclude any emissions increases that the emissions unit could accommodate before the change, and that are unrelated to the change (for example, demand growth).
For additional information on the Actual to Projected Applicability Test, as well as other methods for calculating emission increases under the new source review, see the New Source Review Applicability fact sheet.
- Q: If a source is using the actual-to-projected-actual applicability test, what should projected actuals be based on?
A: This applicability test involves estimates of future business activity. Projected actual emissions should be based on pre-existing information that was prepared for business-related purposes, not just for purposes of the applicability test. Examples would be a stockholder prospectus, a letter to a parent company, applications for business loans, internal capital equipment requisition requests, other internal planning documents, etc. The projections cannot be prepared just for the purpose of the permit application. If a company is unable to provide non-permit related documentation of future activities, then they must use the past actual to future potential method of calculation.
- Q: Do I need to include emissions from malfunctions in my baseline and projected actual emissions?
A: Startup/shutdown/malfunction emissions are included in baseline and projected emissions if those emissions were not non-compliant. In some cases, these emissions are allowed by the applicable requirement, so they count towards baseline and projected actual emissions. If they aren’t permissible, they don’t count on either side of the equation. The goal is to get an “apples to apples” comparison.
- Q: I currently have a permit limit that I took on a modification to avoid NSR (synthetic minor limit of 35 tpy). Can I relax or remove this limit by using the new applicability analysis (actuals to projected actuals test)?
A: No. The analysis for relaxing a limit would be done using the rule that applied at the time of the project - so in this case, it would trigger 40 CFR Section 52.21(r)(4) (link) - for example, when a source or modification becomes major through a relaxation of an hours (??) of operation limit. If the unit were modified - constituting a new project - the new rules would be used for applicability.
- Q: My facility is an existing major stationary source. I want to replace an existing unit with a similarly functioning unit and add on a control device that is not listed in the Minnesota Control Equipment Rule (Minn. R. 7011.0070). Do I get credit for the operation of the control device when calculating projected actual emissions for NSR applicability?
A: No. Under Minnesota Rules, credit can only be taken for controls that are already required by a permit or are subject to the control equipment rule as allowed under Minn. R. 7011.0065, subp. 1.
- Q: What is allowable if, after doing an Actual to Actual test, I conclude I do not need a permit?
A: The full PTE is allowed (absent any permit restrictions), even if projected actuals are significantly less. If PTE = 300 and Projected Actuals = 165, allowable is 300 for all other purposes other than deciding if a specific mod triggers major NSR (for example, modeling, minor NSR). It’s possible that major NSR should have been triggered if the unit emits more than 165 tpy, but maybe not. The MPCA would need to examine the specific circumstances to determine if there was an NSR violation.
- Q: Projected Actuals and Confidential Business Information: since the owner/operator must estimate business activity levels for five or 10 years into the future and use these estimates to project actual emissions, the estimated business data becomes “emissions data” under 40 CFR Part 2 and must be public. What if the owner/operator wants this to be confidential?
A: It cannot be confidential; it must be public data. The alternative is for the owner/operator to use the traditional potential-to-actual test for NSR applicability.
- Q: When a combination of future actuals and potential to emit are used for different units involved in a project, what does the required recordkeeping entail, and when is reporting required?
A: When the increases from a project are quantified using projected future actual emissions for some units, and potential to emit for others, the recordkeeping should consist of actual emissions for the units where projected future actual emissions were used in the calculations, and potential emissions for the units where potential emissions were used as the estimate.
Reporting is required when the combination of actual emissions plus potential emissions exceed the significant increase level.