Increasingly, the US Environmental Protection Agency has exercised its oversight over New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and pre-construction permit approval programs through the use of Clean Air Act Section 114 investigations. Our client was in receipt of a Section 114 information request regarding prior permitting actions before the state air agency. There was concern whether applicability decisions were properly made, and our client contracted with ALG to fully review these prior permitting actions.
Working with the client, ALG obtained the documentation necessary and sufficient to respond the EPA's Section 114 request. We then undertook a detailed review of these data, and conducted extensive interviews with our client's staff to identify specific permitting actions where the NSPS or NSR/PSD applicability analysis was in question. We identified a specific instance where outside technical staff concluded that Subpart XX was not triggered by a specific equipment modification. The documentation and analysis provided did not support this conclusion. ALG then prepared a new analysis to demonstrate that while the physical change did trigger the modification provisions of NSPS Subpart A, the change was otherwise exempt under the NSPS Subpart A regulations.
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Section 114 requests typically provide compressed periods within which our clients must research, cull, copy, and provide all responsive documentation. The typical scope of Section 114 requests, coupled with the compressed period makes it especially difficult to verify prior permitting decisions and assess the potential enforcement exposure from prior state or local agency permitting actions. ALG staff is expert at the efficient review of NSPS/PSD/NSR/MACT applicability, and the technical analyses necessary to demonstrate that a physical change or change in the method of operation is otherwise exempt from permitting. ALG was able to provide our client with this level of review within the compressed period associated with the Section 114. Moreover, we were able to describe properly EPA's program applicability to our client's prior facility modifications.