Steptoe & Johnson: Ohio EPA Proposes Modifications for Oil and Gas Well Site Air Permits

By Katerina E. Milenkovski

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently proposed several changes to its general permits for oil and gas well site production operations. These changes would:

·  Incorporate requirements from the recently issued New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), Subpart OOOO, for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission, and Distribution

·  Split the current oil and gas well site operations general permit into two separate general permits, based on the size of the engine and flare (Model General Permit 12.1, for Oil and Gas Well Site Production Operations - Maximum of 1,800 HP for Natural Gas Engines and a Flare/Combustor Operated at No More Than 10 MMBtu/hour, and Model General Permit 12.2 for Oil and Gas Well Site Production Operations - Maximum of 1,000 HP for Natural Gas Engines and a Flare/Combustor Operated at No More Than 32 MMBtu/hour)

·  Revise Model General Permit 5.1, for unpaved roadways and parking areas, to eliminate unnecessary monitoring, record keeping, and reporting

The model general permits and their applicability criteria are available for review at Ohio EPA's website.

Ohio EPA is also proposing a new permit-by-rule, or PBR, for flowback operations, which incorporates the "green completion" requirements of the federal NSPS. In addition to imposing the requirements found in NSPS Subpart OOOO, 40 CFR 60.5375, Ohio EPA imposes emission limits pursuant to state law authority, which limit emissions during completion operations to the following: No more than 34.0 tons of VOC, 9.3 tons of CO, 1.7 tons of NOx, 1.0 ton of SO2 and 0.82 tons of HAP. Compliance with these emission limits is determined by calculations specified in the proposed rule. The full text of the proposed PBR is
found here.



Comments on the new permit by rule for flowback operations are due by March 18th. Comments on the revisions to the existing model general permits are due by March 22nd. Detailed information about both proposals is available on the
Ohio EPA website. If you have questions, please contact one of our attorneys to discuss what these proposals might mean for your company.

Kathy Milenkovski's legal practice focuses on energy and environmental law, with an emphasis on air quality issues.

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