The EPA published two proposed rules in the Wednesday, April 13th Federal Register regarding ozone nonattainment areas in Texas.
The proposed rules are:
- Determinations of Attainment by the Attainment Date, Extension of Attainment Date, and Reclassification of Areas Classified as Serious for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS 2022-07509.pdf (govinfo.gov), and
- Determinations of Attainment by the Attainment Date, Extension of Attainment Date, and Reclassification of Areas Classified as Marginal for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS 2022-07513.pdf (govinfo.gov).
2008 Ozone NAAQS
The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) ozone nonattainment areas have failed to attain the 2008 standard and are proposed to be reclassified as “severe” ozone nonattainment. The HBG ozone nonattainment did qualify for an extension; however, the EPA is proposing to deny the extension and proceed with reclassification.
Here are a few important items to consider:
- The definition of a “major source” is reduced from 50 tons/year of VOC and/or NOx to 25 tons/year of VOC and/or NOx. Also, if nonattainment review were to be triggered, the offset requirement goes from 1.2:1 up to 1.3:1.
- For sites that would become a major source after reclassification, netting would be triggered with a project increase of ≥ 5 tons/year (of either VOC and/or NOx) in Texas. For other states, check with the specific state program.
- Title V – following reclassification, sources that become a “major source” will be required to submit a Title V Permit application to their respective state agency (typically, 1 [one] year following the effective date of a final rule that reclassifies their source, or sooner if there is a modification which triggers Title V requirements before that point in time).
2015 Ozone NAAQS
The DFW, HGB, and San Antonio ozone nonattainment areas have failed to attain the 2015 standard and are proposed to be reclassified as “moderate” ozone nonattainment:
The important take away from this proposed rule is if nonattainment review were to be triggered, the offset requirement increases from 1.1:1 up to 1.15:1.
If someone is interested in submitting comments to the EPA regarding these rules, the comment deadline is June 13, 2022. There will also be a virtual public hearing regarding these proposed rules on May 9, 2022.
For more information, feel free to contact our subject matter experts!