Facilities that have site-specific state implementation plan (SIP) requirements may make changes to their operations that require changes to either their Administrative Order or Title I SIP conditions in their permits. Once approved by the EPA into the SIP, the requirements become federal rule. Therefore, compared to the general permit amendment process, revisions to these conditions tend to be more complex and lengthy.

First, the MPCA prepares a SIP revision in addition to any needed permit changes. This must include a demonstration that the changes to the SIP-approved conditions will not jeopardize the area’s attainment status. The SIP revision must be public noticed at the state level, then submitted to and approved by EPA as a SIP revision, including going through the federal process of notice and comment in the Federal Register. This process can take over a year to complete, even for changes that would not otherwise be major amendments as defined under permitting rules. (All changes to SIP conditions must be major permit amendments.)

The MPCA’s policy of replacing orders with federally enforceable air emission permits helps to alleviate some problems with the extended timeframe. The permit can sometimes be written with more built-in operational flexibility than the original order, at least to the extent that changes to the facility that do not require a permit amendment are unlikely to require a SIP amendment. If the permit needs to be amended, the MPCA can usually give construction authorization through the permit so that the SIP amendment process and construction at the facility can occur in parallel. No additional public notice is necessary, provided that the public notice for the permit amendment includes a notice referring to pending changes in the SIP.

The MPCA and EPA have agreed to the following procedure for modifying site-specific SIP requirements (labeled Title I Condition: SIP for <pollutant>) in air quality permits:

  1. When the MPCA wants to modify a SIP requirement contained in the permit, MPCA will draft a permit amendment. Once the permit is drafted, EPA’s Title I SIP staff will be informed of pending SIP revisions, including the revised language and any supporting materials, and can comment if they find any problems with the Title I SIP language.
  2. The proposed permit amendment will include the new SIP conditions, with the caveat that these new SIP conditions will only become effective upon EPA approval of the SIP revision. The proposed permit amendment will continue to require compliance with the SIP requirements of the existing permit until the SIP is revised. (In other words, the company follows the “old” SIP requirements until EPA approves the “new” requirements into the SIP.) When the new requirements are approved, they become effective and the old requirements disappear.
  3. The proposed permit amendment will be public noticed as a permit revision and as a Title I SIP revision.
  4. In conjunction with the public participation process on the proposed permit and SIP amendments, the permit amendment will be sent to EPA for its 45-day permitting review. (Applies to Title V permits only).
  5. If EPA has no SIP concerns or permitting objection to the proposed permit amendment, the MPCA will issue the permit amendment. Therefore, EPA’s permitting and SIP staff have not objected to the new SIP requirements, but the permitting staff also recognize and agree that they are not “applicable requirements” (under the permit) until the new requirements are approved into the SIP.
  6. The permit amendment is sent to EPA as a SIP revision.

Once EPA SIP staff approve, and federal notice and comment procedures are complete, the Title I SIP conditions of the permit are incorporated into Minnesota’s SIP at the federal level.

SIP revisions in progress

Public notices for SIP revisions can be found in 40 CFR pt. 52, subp. Y. The document below lists the specific sources and facilities that are subject to limits established by the SIP, listed by geographic area and pollutant. It also includes a listing of the enforceable document that contains those requirements, the state effective date, and the federal approval and effective date. In addition, the document lists Minnesota’s SIP-included state rules. The MPCA’s SIP coordinator can supply current information on the status of the SIP.