EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Wisconsin State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) in 2008 that exempt certain sources of air pollution from construction permit requirements. Comments on the proposed approval must be received on or before June 14, 2013.

As background, Wisconsin submitted revisions NR 406 (requirements for construction permits), NR 407 (requirements for operation permits), and NR 410 (requirements for fees) on April 23, 2008. In a letter dated March 25, 2013, Wisconsin provided additional information as required by section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to demonstrate that the revision would not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. WDNR also clarified that the revisions to NR 407.03(1m) are not to be approved into its SIP at this time but will be included in a future title V approval package request.

The revisions submitted will exempt sources of air pollution whose actual emissions are under 10 tons per year (tpy) of each criteria pollutant, particulate matter of 10 micrometers or less (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), and less than 0.5 tpy of lead, and that are not subject to Federal air pollution requirements for hazardous air pollutants under section 111 or 112 of the CAA from the requirement to obtain a construction permit. The revisions will also exempt construction or modification projects that emit less than 1,666 pounds of criteria pollutants per month, averaged over a 12 consecutive month period, and less than 10 pounds of lead per month, averaged over a 12 consecutive month period from construction permitting requirements.

WDNR submitted the following revisions to NR 406, which created an exemption from construction permit requirements for sources that qualify for the exemption under NR 407.03(1m). NR 406.04(1q) is created to exempt sources from construction permit requirements if the following criteria are met:

(1) The owner or operator has a facility-wide operation permit or has submitted an application for a facility-wide operation permit;
(2) actual emissions from the constructed or modified units do not exceed (a) 1,666 pounds per month averaged over 12 months for criteria pollutants, and (b) 10 pounds per month averaged over 12 months for lead;
(3) none of the constructed or modified units requires a new Best Available Control Technology or Lowest Achievable Emission Rate determination under NR 445 (Wisconsin’s hazardous air pollutant rules);
(4) none of the constructed or modified units are subject to new permitting requirements under NR 405 or 408 (Wisconsin’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) rules) as a result of the project;
(5) the owner or operator submits an application for an operation permit revision, prior to commencing construction and (a) proposes monitoring in accordance with the monitoring requirements in NR 430.055, and (b) commences such monitoring and maintains records to demonstrate compliance with any applicable emission limitation;
(6) the owner or operator submits a claim of exemption from construction permitting requirements; and
(7) the constructed or modified unit does not trigger an emissions limitation or requirement under sections 111 or 112 of the Act.

NR 406.04(4)(h) is created to exempt changes in the method of operation for process lines emitting VOCs from construction permitting requirements if: (1) the change does not result in annual potential VOC emissions that exceed the currently allowed annual potential VOC emissions; and (2) the change does not trigger a requirement under sections 111 or 112 of the CAA.

NR 406.04(4)(i) is created to exempt a change to an external combustion furnace to allow combustion of a clean fuel from construction permitting requirements if the following three criteria are met: (1) The external combustion furnace has a maximum heat input capacity of 10 million British thermal units per hour (mmBtu/hour) for distillate oil and 25 mmBtu/hr for natural gas or propane; (2) the use of the new fuel does not cause or exacerbate the exceedance of any ambient air quality standard or increment; and (3) the change does not trigger a requirement under section 111 or 112 of the CAA.

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