Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pennsylvania DEP Proposes New Emissions Limits

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has proposed much tougher emissions limits for natural gas-fired engines and other equipment at compressor stations.

The final revisions to General Permit 5 affect companies involved in the Marcellus Shale boom. The new standards are 75 to 90% stricter than current limits for the largest, most common types of engines used at compressor stations. The revised permit would give operators the flexibility to install controls to achieve even lower emissions, allowing for the use of additional engines.

“Essentially, we are doing much more by setting these limits as a line the operator cannot cross. This is an improvement in air quality protection,” said DEP Secretary Mike Krancer. “We are also determining compliance based on the facility’s actual emissions, instead of equating the permit’s limits with the facility’s emissions, as was previously done.”

Operators of facilities operating under the general permit must demonstrate that their facilities continue to be minor sources as defined by the Clean Air Act. DEP is accepting public comments on the proposed changes until March 19.

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