Environmental Permitting

How do I make changes to my Title V permit

Administrative amendments
Administrative amendments can be initiated by the permitting authority to correct typos or to incorporate the requirements of a SIP-approved construction permit.  However, the permittee may also initiate administrative amendments by submitting a request to the permitting authority to change such things as the contact information of someone listed in the permit, the ownership or operational control of the source, or to request an increase in monitoring or reporting frequency as a way to avoid having the permitting authority reopen the permit.  The permitting authority must take final action on an administrative amendment within 60 days of the receipt of a request. 

Minor modifications
Changes are considered to be minor modifications if they:

  • Do not violate an applicable requirement;
  • Do not involve significant changes to existing monitoring, recordkeeping, or reporting;
  • Do not require a case-by-case emission limit (i.e., RACT, BACT, or MACT);
  • Do not establish or change a permit condition for which there is no underlying requirement (e.g., establishing a limit of potential emissions to avoid MACT or NSR); and
  • Are not defined as modifications under NSPS, NESHAPs, PSD, or nonattainment NSR;

Instances when a minor modification is appropriate include increasing allowable emissions, provided a “modification” is not triggered, or when a facility needs to update monitoring parameter ranges.  However, changing the monitoring parameter would be considered “significant” and would not qualify as a minor modification.

Minor modifications require the submission of an updated application including a description of the change, emissions resulting from the change, and new applicable requirements.  In addition, the permittee should submit a suggested draft permit, and a responsible official must certify that proposed modification meets the criteria of a minor modification.  The permitting authority must take action on the application within 90 days of receipt or 15 days after the end of EPA’s 45 day review period, whichever is later.

Significant modifications
Significant modifications are those that do not qualify as an administrative amendment or a minor modification.  State Title V regulations establish the criteria for significant modifictions, but at a minimum a significant modification includes:

  • Every significant change in existing monitoring requirements; and
  • Every relaxation of reporting or recordkeeping requirements.

Significant modifications must meet all the requirements for Title V applications, public participation, and EPA review.  Action on signification modifications can be expected within 9 months.

Reopening for cause.
Typically, a regulatory authority will reopen a Title V permit to incorporate newly applicable requirements, provided there are greater than 3 years remaining on the permit term.  Otherwise, the requirements will be incorporated at the time of permit renewal.  Permits will not be reopened if effective date of new requirement is later than the date the permit is due to expire.   Reopened permits must follow the same procedures required for an initial permit.

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Timothy P. Fagan is a Legal Editor for BLR’s environmental publications, focusing primarily on air quality related topics. Mr. Fagan has covered environmental developments with BLR since 2000. Before joining BLR, he spent 5 years in environmental consulting and was responsible for air quality permitting and compliance for a broad range of industries in both the private and public sector. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University and a Master’s degree in environmental engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.